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Papers and Proceedings 






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'riiiled at "The Exaiuiiitr " and "Weekly Cmft-i^^VV-OSices, 
ri-T5 Patleisoii Street, Launcestoi]|i ^ 

AUG ■'^ ''^ , 

Papers and Proceedings 







Printed at "The JSxamiiier " and "Weekly Courier" Offices, 
73-75 Patterson Street, Launceston. 

Royal Society of Tasmania. 


Patron : 


Pr? 0tbi?Ut : 


Htw-PrfsthipntH : 




W. V. LEGGE, Col. R.A., F.R.G.S. 

Olottnrtl : 





G. H. BUTLER, M.R.C.S., M.L.C 






E. L. PIESSE, B.Sc, LL.B. 


Ifnnnrarg Srpaaurrr : 


i'prr^targ to tift (Hanntii '• 


Aulittnr ■• 


Order of retirement from the Council: — Dr. Noetling, Russell Young, 
Sir E. Lewis, and R. M. Johnston, in 1910, 

The responsibility of the statements and opinions given 
in the following Papers and Discussions rests with the 
individual authors or speakers : the Society merely 
places them on record. 




Aborigines of Tasmania (See Native Implements and Lan- 
guage) . . , . . . 

Accounts (1907), Discussion of 1. 

Actinolite, Specimen found near Port Cygnet v. 

Annual Report for 1908 85 

Annual General Meeting 90 


Baker, Henry D., Account of a visit to Furneaux Group . . . . vii. 

Beattie, J. VV., Account of a visit to River Gordon viii., 31 

Eclipse of Sun cf 9th May, 1910 xi. 


Gordon River, Account of a visit to, by J. W. Beattie viii., 31 


Hall, Robert, Account of trip through Siberia ii. 


Johnston, R. M., State Borrowing and Sinking Funds v., 10 


Kingsmill, H. C., Notes on Solar Eclipses . xi. 


List of Fellows and Associates 92 


May, W. L., Additions to Tasmanian Molluscan Fauna . . . . xi., 53 

Molluscan Fauna of Tasmania, Additions to xi., 53 

Mutton Birds of P'urneaux Group vii. 

CONTENTS.— Continued. 



Native Implements iii., x., xiii., i, 36, 44. 60 

Natives of Tasmania, Language of xiii., xvii., 68, 79 

Noetling, F., Notes on a Chipped Boulder found neai" 

Kempton iii., i 

,, On the Native Quarry at Syndal, near Ross . . x., 44 

„ On a Native Burial Ground at Charlton, near 

Ross X., 36 

„ The Aboriginal Designations for Stone Imple- 
ments xiii., 60 


Report, Annual, for igo8 85 

Ritz, H. B., on Aboriginal Designations for Stone Implements xiii., 68 

,, on Aboriginal Speech of Tasmania xvii., 79 


Subscription to the Society, Report of Committee on reduc- 
tion of XV. 

,, ,, Resolutions of Special General 

Meeting xviii. 


1. Notes on a Chipped Boulder found near Kempton ....... i 

By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

2. State Borrowing and Sinking Funds lo 

By R. M. Johnston, F.L.S., I.S.O. 

3. Notes on the River Gordon and on the need for reservation 

of Land along its Banks 31 

By 7. W. Beattie. 

4. A Native Burial Ground on Charhon Estate, near Ross . . 36 

By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

5. TMie Native Quarry at Syndal, near Ross 44 

By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

6. Additions to the Tasmanian Molluscan Fauna S3 

By W. L. May. 

7. The Aboriginal Designations for Stone Implements 60 

By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

8. On Dr. Noetling's conclusions respecting the Aboriginal 

Designations for Stone Implements 68 

By H. B. Ritz, M.A. 

9. An Introduction to the study of the Aboriginal Speech of 

Tasmania li 

By H. B. Ritz, M.A. 

Engal i^orirtg nf ©aHmanta. 

APRIL 7, 1908. 

A Meeting of the Society for the transaction of ordinary 
business, and the reconsideration of the Balance-sheet sub- 
mitted with the Annual Report for 1907, was held at the 
Museum on Wednesday evening, April 7, 1908. 

Mr. T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S., in the chair. 

Mrs. C. S. Agnew, Messrs. Hugh Armstrong, F.R.C.S., W. 
A. Harvey, M.B., Lyndhurst F. Giblin, B.A., A. W. Courtney 
Pratt, W. Minchin Nicholls, and A. R. Reid were elected 
Fellows of the Society. 

In reference to the question of the reconsideration of the 
Balance-sheet for 1907, the Chairman announced that Mr. 
Bernard Shaw, their recently-appointed Honorary Treasurer, 
had taken a great deal of trouble in going through the accounts 
of the Society for the last four years, and would now furnish 
any information that was required on the subject. 

Mr. Shaw laid on the table printed accounts showing .the 
receipts and expenditure for the years 1904 to' 1907. The 
Balance-sheet for 1907 had been amended by the transposition 
of figures. The error in the accounts of the Morton Allport 
Memorial Fund was connected with the purchase of a valuable 
work for th'; Memorial Library when the funds in hand were 
insuf^cient for the purpose, and the deficiency was made good 
by a loan from tht^ General Funds of the Society. There should 
have been some explanatory note to show that the amount of 
this loan was a debit balance against the Memorial Fund,. 
which would be repaid to the Society as soon as the next in- 
stalment of interest was received. The Balance-sheets for 1904- 
5-6 had now been compiled, and, with the revised Balance- 
sheet for 1907, had been examined by the Auditor and certified 
as correct. 

Mr. A. J. Taylor thought the Society might now congratu- 
late itself on the fact that it had a business-like statement put 
forward, and he claimed that the course he took at the previous 
meeting, in moving that further consideration of the Balance- 
sheet be postponed, was fully justified by the clear statement 
of accounts which was now before them. Mr. Bernard Shaw 
had taken a vast amount of trouble in going through the 
accounts for the years which had been mentioned. He (Mr. 
Taylor) did not at the previous meeting for a moment dream 
of casting any refle;tion on the Council or the late Secretary. 

Mr. Shaw, in reply to Dr. Crouch, said a grant to the 
medical section for 1905 did not appear in the accounts, as it 
was not paid. 

Dr. Noetlmg raised the question of insurance. He noticed 
there was an item in the 1904 accounts for insurance, but not 
subsequently. The valuable books in the library could not be 
replaced for £5,000. 

Mr. Shaw said the books were now reinsured as the pro- 
perty of the Society for £1,000. 

The motion for the adoption of the accounts was then put 
and carried. 

Mr. J. W. Gould moved, Dr. Crouch seconding the motion, 
"That a hearty vote of thanks be given to Mr. Bernard Shaw 
for the large amount of trouble he had taken in examining the 
accounts of the Society for the past four years." The motion 
was put and carried with applause. 

APRIL 13, 1908. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Monday evening, April 13, 1908. 

Mr. Russell Young in the chair. 

The Chairman referred in feeling terms to the cause of the 
absence of Sir John Dodds (Lieutenant-Governor and Acting- 
President of the Society), and felt sure that the meeting was 
in deep sympathy with him and his family. 

The Secretary to the Council (Mr. Robert Hall) notified 
the receipt of valuable literature from kindr.ed societies in all 
parts of the world, from Russia, Argentina, Canada, the Medi- 
terranean countries, and Great Britain. The Smithsonian 
Institute, U.S.A., had sent books of very great value. 

Mr. Hall then gave an account of the travels of himself 
and friend through Siberia to Moscow and St. Petersburg, and 
then on to London. He described the fauna and flora met with 
m a journey of 6,000 miles on the little-known Lena River, in 
Siberia. The people, their modes of living, etc., were well 
illustrated and described. He said we have on our beaches all 
round ♦^he coast millions of little wading birds, very little larger 
than sparrows, called sand-pipers, which stay with us over 
Christmas till about April, and then fly 8,000 miles northwards 
to Siberia, where they breed their young, arriving just after 
the ice melts on the largest swamp in the world, called the 
Tundra, exbending over 2,000 miles east and west. In the 
following October they started again, with their young birds, 
back to Tasmania. Then there was a fish popularly known as 
the herring in Bass Strait, which migrated past the Philippines 
and Corea right up to Kamschatka, making a return trip the 
same year, and this went on year after year. Most of the 

food fishes deposited their eggs out in the open ocean, but the 
herring was quite an exception. It was not known in which 
rivers this herring deposits its eggs; possibly in the southern 
streams. It was wonderful how those birds made such long 
flights annually, and especially how the young birds, which 
travelled for the first time, got back to the land of their birth. 
They seemed to have some special sense of direction. These 
birds had been migrating in this way, possibly, for millions of 
years, and from a time when Siberia had a very different 
climate from what it has to-day, as was evidenced by geological 
impressions cf tropical plants that once grew there. Now it 
iiad a ternbl}- severe winter, during which quicksilver remained 
frozen in barometers and such instruments for months. He 
presented views, and described Irkutsk, the capital of Eastern 
Siberia, Yakutsk, centre of the Siberian fur trade, and Verko- 
yansk, one of the coldest places in the northern hemisphere; 
yet, in the spring, birds migrating between Tasmania and 
Siberia nested there, finding an abundance of food in the shape 
of berries and grubs. Parts of Siberia, like Canada, had very 
genial spring and summer seasons, when everything grew 
quickly. He and his friend experienced weeks of perpetual 
light, and clouds of m.osquitoes. Siberia, in addition to having 
tihe largest swamp in the world, had the largest plain and the 
largest pine lorest, the latter extending for thousands of miles, 
and runnmg through it were grand rivers teeming with salmon. 
The coasts and rivers were rich in fishing grounds. The country 
contained many plants and flowers never seen in the Southern 
Hemisphere, pictures of several of which were thrown on the 
screen. There was a good prospect for the country for settle- 
ment by political exiles from' Russia; these were mostly supe- 
rior people. Siberia teemed with birds, flowers, and mosquitoes. 

MAY II, 1908. 

The monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at the 
Museum on Monday evening, May 11, 1908. 

Mr. T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S., in the chair. 

Messrs. W. N. Atkins, L. A. Evans, O. P. Law, and L. 
Rodway were elected Fellows, and Mr. A. Conlon Associate of 
the Society. 


Notes on a Chipped Boulder from near Kempton. By 
Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

The author described the boulder as one that had been 
chipped by the aborigines in getting their cutting implements 
from it. He found around it the principal flakes belonging to 
the stone. The place where the stone was found was the site 
of an old aboriginal camping ground on the slope of a hill on 
the northern side cf Kempton. He described how the flakes 
were used as implements, and how they were struck off the 
core. The specimen was unique for Tasmania. It was a piece 

of water-worn pebble stone, and must have been carried for a 
considerable distance to the camping ground for the manufac- 
ture of the cutting instruments of stone. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston said the specimen Dr. Noetling had 
exhibited to them that evening was one of the most interesting 
that had been found in Tasmania. Eleven of the chips fitted 
beautifully on the core. Often pieces of rock chipped off from 
great changes of temperature, such as during bush fires, but 
he believed that these pieces were chipped off the core before 
them by aboriginals. 

Mr. A. J. Taylor said 'he did not think the fragments were 
flaked off by fire, for fire would only cause fractures from the 
ouside, and this core had some fractures from the inside. 

The Chairman said that fire would have broken off the flakes 
more from the outside. A rich field for Dr. Noetling's investi- 
gations would be found near the head of the Macquarie River, 
where the aborigines had a favourite camping ground near the 
outcrop of a cherty rock, which formed the material of most 
of their implements. He called attention to some flint and 
obsidian arrow heads which he had collected in Texas, U.S.A., 
some years ago, as illustrating a different phase of civilisation. 


Mr. R. M. Johnston exhibited a small specimen of a moun- 
tain trout (Galaxias truttaceus), captured by Mr. Tute at 
the Great Lake, which had an abnormal development in the 
shape of two mouths, being a sport or freak of nature; from 
the mouth, below the chin of the creature, the tongue pro- 
truded. A similar curiosity had been noticed by him some 
years ago in a sea perch. 

Mr. A. J. Taylor made some remarks on the so-called bul- 
rush caterpillar (Sphaeria robertsia). He said the cater- 
pillar IS mteresting because of the peculiar way in which it 
becomes the host of a vegetable form of life, which uses up 
the animal structure of the caterpillar for its own nourishment, 
while at the same time it replaces every portion so robbed 
with vegetable tissue to an equal extent. In this way the 
caterpillar is by degrees converted entirely into a vegetable 
root, exactly resembling, in every respect, the original form of 
the insect from which it had derived sustenance during its 
period of growth. The process of vegetation is this: Whilst 
burrowing in the light vegetable soil, previous to undergoing 
the process of its natural metamorphosis, the caterpillar gets 
some of the seeds of the fungus under the scales about its neck; 
and from this part of its body a seed vegetates, and grows into 
a single stalk, from six to ten inches high, the top portion of 
the stalk in the female plant, when fruiting, representing, only 
m a much smaller degree, the club-headed bulrush with which 
we are all so lamiliar. The body of the caterpillar is, as already 
described, gradually metamorphosed into the vegetable root of 
the plant. The seed vessel is the only portion of this curious 
plant found above ground, therefore it may be easily overlooked. 
When freshly dug up the root is soft, and, in spite of its woody 

structure, ma}' be found to contain satisfactory evidence — such 
as the intestinal canal — of its animal origin. The bulrush 
caterpillar is to be found in New Zealand and Tasmania. Other 
msects that suffer the same fate are known of; but none of 
these afford a more interesting illustration of the process by 
which Nature sometimes makes an apparently retrograde step 
— by descending from a higher, or insect, form of life to that 
of a lower or vegetable condition — than we find in the case 
of the bulrush caterpillar. He referred to samples of the bul- 
rush caterpillar in fruit and sections indicating the woody 
structure of the insect after passing through the changes de- 

The Chairman and Mr. Johnston corroborated the descrip- 
tion of the development of this interesting parasitic fungus, the 
former remarking that its modern generic name was Cordy- 
ceps, and exhibiting a very perfect specimen of C. Gunnii, 
found at Franklin Village, near Launceston. 

Dr. Noetlmsf exhibited two minerals found by him at Gad's 
Hill and at Barn Bluff — viz., analcime and actinolite — the for- 
mer being a species of zeolite heretofore found only near Port 

JUNE i6, 1908. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Tuesday evening, June 16, 1908. 

Sir John Dodds, K.C.M.G., Lieutenant-Governor, in tlie 

Messrs. L. F. S. Hore, B.A., Leonard Seal, and Joseph 
Love, M.B., were elected Fellows of the Society. 


On State Borrowing and Sinking Funds for the Redemption 
of State Debts regarded from an Economical Point of View. 
By R. M. Johnston, LS.O., F.L.S. 

In the first part of his paper, relating to state borrowing, 
the author points out — (i) the unprecedented progress of all 
civilised countries, especially within the last forty years; (2) 
that this progress entirely altered the methods and instruments 
formerly employed in the industrial world; (3) that the intro- 
duction of tlie improved machinery and instruments of trans- 
port and production involved immediate, enormous, and 
original outlay of capital; (4) that the consequent reduction 
m cost of production and transport, and of prices, so affected 
all parts of the world that new and old countries alike were, 
perforce, obliged to largely invest fresh capital for such pur- 
poses; (5) that great undertakings (such as the building of the 
great Canadian and Pacific Railway system), oould not, practi- 
cally, be consliucted in a piecemeal fashion, over a period of 
from forty to sixty years, to accommodate the burden of the 

payment of the principal required immediately, and, conse- 
quently, this impracticability, and also the necessity of securing 
a just and equitable share of burden to all who in the future 
derive benefit from the original outlay, the method of only 
charging intciest on capital to each year's current revenue has 
invariablj^ been adopted in all civilised countries. He illus- 
trated, by relcrence to the United Kingdom, how capital in- 
vestments were developed. That Australia, latterly, has not 
been investing capital in this direction, either absolutely or 
relatively to population, at as great a rate as the United King- 
dom was indicated by the fact that during the last five years 
invested capital of the kind referred to in the United Kingdom 
represented a sum of 62s. 6d. per 'head per year; while in 
Australian States, in a country nearly as large as Europe, and 
as yet scarcely begun to be developed, the corresponding 
capital investments only represented a sum of 28s. lod. per 
head per year. Would the present population, with its rela- 
tively high " standard of living " and its vastly increased 
wealth, have existed had the " retrenchment-and-ruin " cry of 
the year 1870 succeeded in forcing upon the states, at the time, 
the retrograde advice, " no borrowing " and " retrenchment." 
This, though eminently prudent, from the standpoint of a pri- 
vate individual, ni'ght still be open to question or qualification, 
when applied to the economics of a corporate body. He was 
of opinion that the state taxpayers of the day stand, in relation 
to the ever-changing individuality of the state taxpayers of the 
past and future, in exactly the same ethical and economical re- 
lation to each other, as do the existing shareholders of a 
private railway corporation to past and future shareholders of 
the same concern; and, consequently, there is neither moral 
nor economical grounds why either taxpayers of the state or 
railway shareholders of the day should, in addition to their 
own equitable share of burden, mulct themselves in additional 
heavy taxation or expense (as by sinking fund contributions) 
for the purpose of lessening the fair and equitable share of 
burden of their future personally disconnected representatives. 
The author of the paper, in conclusion, affirms as his strong 
opinion that sinking funds for the absolute redemption of 
loans invested in railways, harbours, and other great public 
works, should be restricted to the portion of such loans whose 
assets are short-lived, and, like the short terminable life of 
marine vessels, cannot be permanently preserved in their pris- 
tine value and utility by the ordinary yearly contributions from 
current revenue funds to maintenance, renewals, and repairs, 
by which means the whole permanent way, machinery, and 
other equipments of railways are ever kept up to their pristine 
value and utility as bona-fide state assets. 

■Mr. T. Stephens said that the Fellows of the Society must 
congratulate themselves that, although Mr. Johnston had been 
away on a visit to the old country, he had returned to them 
with no loss of that force with which 'he had many times pre- 
viously interested them. The subject upon which he had ad- 
dressed them that night was such a big one that it would be 
well to postpone the discsusion upon it in order that the 
Fellows might have an opportunity of seeing it in print. 

Mr. James Macfarlane also wished to have an opportunity 
of studying the paper in print before discussing it. 

After further discui,sion, it was decided that the paper should 
be taken into consideration on a date to be fitxed by the Council 
of the Society. 


Mr. Henry Baker gave an account of his recent visit to^ 
the Furneaux Group to study the habits of the mutton-bird. 
He found when he reached the islands that the birds had left 
about ten days previously. There appeared to be a tendency 
on the part of the birds to leave a little sooner every year. 
This was probabl}^ due to the encroachment of sheep and cattle 
on the rookeries, and the vast amount of egging which went 
on. The Government had imposed regulations, but they did 
not appear to be stringent enough. He had been told that 
the number of young bu'ds that escaped was much less than it 
used to be. Next to mutton-birding, kangarooing was the most 
habitual occupation of the islanders. These animals had prac- 
tically disappeared from all the smaller islands, and were be- 
coming scarce on the larger ones. Three thousand a year 
would be a low estimate of the number that were killed. The 
kangaroo were hunted by dogs, whidh were kept half-starved 
to render them savage. It seemed a pity that so many kan- 
garoo should be killed, considering the small price the skins 
brought. They were an important source of meat supply to 
the islanders, and if the close season were strictly enforced 
they would be subjected to considerable suffering. It was 
necessary, however, that the indiscriminate destruction that 
went on at j^resent should be checked. He thought it was a 
great pity that the islanders could not be induced to take up 
some other forms of earning a livelihood than those they fol- 
lowed at present. If the people of Tasmania would interest 
themselves a little bit more in the islands their future would 
be brighter. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston said he had visited the islands in 1874, 
and related some of his experiences. He agreed in the neces- 
sity for the preservation of native birds and animals, and hoped 
that Mr. Baker's reference to the matter would result in good. 

Mr. T. Stephens thoug-ht the matter ought not to be allowed 
to rest. He suggested that the Council of the Society should 
address a letter to the Government, asking them to cause in- 
quiry to be made as to the extent to which the existing regula- 
tions were carried out, and as to the wholesale destruction of 
kangaroo and wallaby. He moved a resolution to that effect, 
which was carried. 

JULY 13, 1908. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Alonday evening, July 13, 1908. 

Sir John Dodds, K.C.M.G., Lieutenant-Governor, in the 


On a recent visit to the River Gordon, illustrated by lantern 
slides, with remarks on the need of reservation of land along 
the banks of the River. By J. W. Beattie. 

The visit was made in the middle of April last, eight days 
being spent in exploring the River Gordon. Unfortunately, 
tor SIX days the weather was very wet, less than two days 
being available for the photographic work of the trip. Photo- 
graphs of Macquarie Harbour Heads were displayed, showing 
the dispositions of the various harbour works. The outer and 
inner islands, and their ligihts, the breakwater, and the v/reck 
of the s.s. Kawatiri, were shown, and gave a clear idea of the 
character of this wild western port of Tasmania, the " open 
door " of the West Coast mineral fields. The late Mr. Napier 
Bell's scheme for the removal of the bar was referred to, and 
another scheme, with a similar objective, but antedating Mr. 
Bell's by some seventy years, was mentioned. This early 
scheme, however, appears to have never gone beyond the 
presentation of a report by the originator — Captain James 
Hobbs — to the then Governor, Colonel George Arthur, in 1824. 
The d'scovery of Macquarie Harbour by Captain James Kelly 
was dealt with. Illustrations of the Port of Strahan were 
given, and also a fine series portraying the beautiful natural 
reserve of 70 acres called "The People's Park." These serve 
to emphasise the value of the forethought of the Strahan resi- 
dents in obtaining one of a series of what have been aptly 
termed Natural Monuments, which will remain an abiding 
type of the indigenous flora. The historic places en route 
to the River Gordon were next dealt with — Phillip Island, 
Sarah Island, etc., being historically treated, and the beautiful 
and impressive mountain backgrounds overlooking the en- 
trance to the river fully described, with some of the historical 
associations attached to them. The grandeur of the different 
reaches and bends of the Gordon was well illustrated, and 
served to emphasise the unique beauty of the river, and the 
urgent claims for its protection from the ruthless hand of 
present-day utilitarianism. The scenery at Gould's Landing, 
the various rapids in the upper reaches of the river, the River 
Franklin, and the scenery at the Great Bend, 65 miles from 
Macquarie Harbour, were well represented, the characteristics 
of the river being minutely described where illustration was 
not available. A brief sketch of the pine industry in the 
vicinity of the Gordon was accompanied by several illustrations 
of pine forests and logging. 

In conclusion, the author urged most strongly that imme- 
diate and vigorous action be taken to thoroughly protect the 
banks of the River Gordon from Macquarie Harbour to a mile 
beyond the Franklin, a total distance of 26 miles, the area of 
reservation to extend to the line of hills running on either 
side of the river from the water's edge to at least one chain 
beyond their summits. On level river flats, where no hills 

■obtain, five chains from the river to be reserved. These reser- 
vations, in the opinion of the writer, should effectually prevent 
the destruction of the beautiful foliage, and retain not only 
an aesthetic asset of unique character, but an asset of great 
value from the tourist standpoint, w^hich, if protected from 
the axe and fire, will undoubtedly become of great monetary 
value to the state. 

Dr. Noetling said that there was the finest scenery on the 
Gordon that he 'had ever seen in his life, and it would be a 
great pity if the insatiable timber merchant was allowed to 
destroy it. It was the duty of the Government to try and 
preserve that scenery and he favoured the land on each side 
being reserved up to the tops of the hills. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston said that no one had done so much 
to make the scenery of Tasmania known as Mr. Beattie. It 
was due to his hard work and careful selection of subjects 
that the world knew so much of the beauties of Tasmania. 
They were all very much indebted to Mr. Beattie for the work 
he had done, not only in making the beauties of our state 
known, but m the patient and careful researches he had made 
into its old history. 

Dr. Noetlmg said that if it was a fact that the Gordon ran 
for two miles under the Wilmot Range, as had been reported 
to Mr. Beattie, it would be the most extraordinary geological 
wonder in the world. 

The Chairman said that he fully endorsed all that Mr. 
Beattie had said in regard to the necessity for the preservation 
of the scenery on the beautiful Gordon River, and he sincerely 
recommended everyone who had not had the privilege of 
visiting that part of the country to do so as soon as possible. 
The time would come when the West Coast would prove most 
attractive from a tourist point of view; and it therefore be- 
hoved the Government to preserve, as far as they could, these 
beautiful scenes from destruction. 

Mr Beattie said that he had had that day received a tele- 
gram from Mr. Robert Sticht, manager of the Mount Lyell 
mine, supporting all that he had said in regard to the necessity 
of preserving the scenery along the Gordon, and stating that 
the present reservation made by the Government was inade- 
quate. Nothing less than the whole range visible to the eye 
should be reserved. The interests of the pine-getters were 
paltry compared with the preservation of natural scenery. 


Mr R. M. Johnston exhibited some specimens of timber 
which had been treated with Captain M'Fie's white-ant specific, 
and pointed out that it not only preserved the wood from the 
attacks of insects and fungi, but enabled it to take a beautiful 

AUGUST 10, i9cS. 

The General Monthly Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Monday evening, August lo, 1908. 

Mr. T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S., in the chair. 


(i) On the Native Quarry at Syndal, near Ross. By Fritz 
Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

The author first mentioned a reported aboriginal quarry at 
Stocker's Bottom, near Ross. Some thought it was a myth, 
and so he found it; but on further exploration he found such 
a quarry at Syndal. Hundreds of thousands of fragments that 
had passed through the hands of aboriginals were found lying 
about. He exhibited specimens. From this quarry stone for 
the implements used by the aboriginals was obtained. A vast 
amount of time and labour must have been spent in vain by 
the aboriginals whilst shaping their implements, and in con- 
nection with these operations they used fire. The other quar- 
ries of this character in Tasmiania, the lecturer said, were at 
Cole 'Hill, near Melton-Mowbray; a small one near the railway 
station, Pontville; one at Shene Estate; at Charlie's Hope, 
Plenty; the Great Lake; on the road from Campbell Town to 
Swansea; on the South Esk, near Perth; at Pipeclay Lagoon; 
on the Tamar River; and on Mount Communication, near Salt- 
water River. Most of these might, at any rate, be considered 
as native quarries. He referred to the flints discovered in the 
tertiary formation at Thenay, in France, as to the origin of 
which there had been much controversy. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston spoke of the kinds of rock from which 
the aboriginals formed their stone implements and weapons. 
Among the natives of West Australia to-day there were to be 
found the same primitive stone implements as were found after 
the Tasmanian aborigines had disappeared; the West Austra- 
lian natives preserved their ancient chip flints for sacred rites 

(2) On a Native Burial Ground at Charlton, near Ross. By 
Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

The author remarked that Ling Roth's book on the abo- 
rigines of Tasmania had fully dealt with the character of these 
burial places. The one under notice had been very carefully 
examined. It seemed certain that the natives on this island 
burnt their dead, but differences of opinion arose as to their 
disposal of the ashes. It was pretty certain that they used to 
smear their faces with the ashes. Some were said to have put 
dead bodies in hollow trees, fencing them round with bushes. 
They knew that the names of deceased persons were never 
mentioned again, as the race were very superstitious about the 
departed. He believed there were regular aboriginal burial 
grounds, and his discovery on the Charlton Estate seemed to 
settle the question. There were heaped up a number of little 
mounds, in which large stones were embedded. There were no 

bones to be found. The Charlton burial ground must be of 
great age. It was a question whether the corpses were carried 
to the burial ground and burned there, or whether the ashes- 
of the departed were subsequently carried to the burial ground. 
He favoured the latter idea, a pyre having been erected and a 
body cremated at the spot where death took place. It would 
be interesting to know whether other similar burial grounds 
existed in Tasmania. He was told that there was one at Pont- 
ville, and another at Darlington Park. 

Mr. A. J. Taylor described a burial place of probably a 
Tasmanian aboriginal warrior. He quoted Backhouse's and 
Robinson's descriptions of the incinerating process which was- 
resorted to. The natives were very jealous of Europeans wit- 
nessing their burial ceremonies. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw said the late Mr. Jno. Lyne used to 
mention a case under his own observation of the burial of a 
native in a hollow tree, but the body was afterwards removed. 

Mr. Henry Foster remarked on the very few skulls of 
natives having been found, which was, no doubt, due to their 
generally burning their dead. 

SEPTEMBER 14, 1908. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Wednesday evening, September 14, 1908. 

Mr. T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S., in the chair. 

the; foi,i,owing papkrs were read : — 

(i) Additions to the Tasmanian Molluscan Fauna. By W. 
L. May. 

This paper, a portion of which was read by the Secretary 
to the Council, is of a technical character, and describes the 
results of dredging near the lOO-fathom line oflf the south coast 
of Tasmania. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston referred to the two species mentioned 
by Mr. May as belonging to a family of fissure-grooved shells 
of very ancient origin. 

(2) On Solar Eclipses, illustrated by lantern slides. By 
H. C. Kingsmill, M.A. 

The author referred to the total eclipse of the sun, to take 
place on May 9, 1910, and the proposed visit of an English 
expedition to observe it in Tasmania. Owing to the rarity 
of solar eclipses, expeditions have generally to be made to dis- 
tant countries by those who require to investigate the phe- 
nomena of eclipses. It happens that Tasmania is the only land 
in the world from which the total phase of that eclipse will be 
observable, if we except the icy regions near the South Pole. 
The central line of the eclipse would pass a little to the south 

of Tasmania, whilst the northern edge of the totaHty would 
hardly extend to Launceston. Tasmania would have, therefore, 
on the occasion a unique importance in the eyeis of astrono- 
mers, who would be attracted from distant parts of the world. 
There had been one astronomical expedition to Tasmania 
which led to important results, namely, the American expedi- 
tion for observing the transit of Venus in 1874. The object of 
that expedition was to obtain data for a more accurate deter- 
mination of the distance of the sun from the earth, which is 
the largest base line we have for astronomical meiasurements. 
Incidental to that expedition was the accurate determination 
of the latitude and longitude of a station in the Hobart Bar- 
racks, which was done by means of simultaneous observations 
taken at the Melbourne Observatory and by the American 
astronomers at Hobart. The Agent-General had forwarded 
letters from General Tennant asking for information as to 
eligible sites for the observation of the eclipse. Mr. Kingsmill 
explained and illustrated by lantern slides total eclipses of the 
sun with the corona in each case extending far beyond the sun 
as obscured by the moon. But for this a total eclipse would 
mean for the time being absolute and total darkness. It was 
found that when a profuse crop of sun spots showed the sun 
to be in exuberant activity, the action of this exceptional ex- 
citement produced a corresponding influence on the magnetic 
state of the earth. There was a large and valuable body of 
evidence available to demonstrate that there did exist some 
sympathy between periods of solar agitation and periods of 
excited terrestrial magnetism. 

The Chairman thought there were three places which stood 
out as eligible for the purposes Mr. Kingsmill had mentioned: 
I. Near lighthouse on Bruni Head (South Bruni), 335ft. above 
high-water mark. Access from Great Taylor's Bay. 2. South- 
port Bluff, nearly oppo'site lighthouse. Access from a jetty on 
the south side of Southport, with deep water near at hand, and 
good anchorage; thence two or three miles' cartage to the 
Blufif. Depth of water at the entrance to Southport, 10 to 17 
fathoms. 3. Between Point Arthur and second look-out on 
south side of Recherche Bay, and about six miles south of 
Southport Blufif. Entrance to Recherche Bay has depth of 
from 8 to 16 fathoms, with good anchorage inside. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston referred to the importance of the ex- 
pedition to Tasmania, and hoped institutions on the mainland 
would join in the reception of such an important body of 


Dr. Noetling enlarged on the grandeur of the total eclipse 
of the sun, which he had witnessed in India, and said that 
scientists were very keen on observations at such a time to 
try to discover another planet believed to exist nearer to the 
sun than the planet Mercury. At the forthcoming observations 
in Tasmania he feared the sun would be rather low down in 
the heavens at the hour at which the total eclipse would take 
place, namely, 4 p.m. Would not the top of Mount Wellington 
be the most suitable situation for the observations? 

Mr. Piesse thought that the South Bruni site was the best 
of those mentioned by Mr. Stephens. Maatsuyker Island or 
Port Davey might be suitable if helpers could be got, as the 
iarther west the better. He also mentioned positions near 
Daniel's Bay and Mill's Reef. He was doubtful whether any 
real advantage \yould be gained in going south of Hobart. 
Mount Rumney would be an excellent situation, he thought. 
Mount Wellington was apt to be cloudy in the afternoon, whilst 
Mount Rumney was not so. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw moved the following resolution: — "That 
in connection with the proposed expedition to observe the 
total eclipse of the sun on May 9, 1910, a letter be addressed 
to the Premier urging the necessity for a careful examination 
by an observer acquainted with astronomical requirements of 
sites which appear most likely to be suitable for the purposes 
of the expedition and the collection of information on the fol- 
lowing points: — ^Climate; protection required for the instru- 
ments and observers at the chosen station; amount of cloud 
and rainfall; liability to fogs; accessibility for members oi the 
expedition, and for any other purpose; natural harbour accom- 
modation; facilities for obtaining material and labour for erec- 
tion of temporary buildings, and facilities for commissariat." 

Mr. R. M. Johnston seconded the motion, which was car- 

OCTOBER 12, 1908. 

The Monthly General Aieeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Monday evening, October 12, 1908. 

Mr. T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S., in the chair. 

Messrs. E. J. Roberts, M.B., B.S., and Leonard E. Hubbard 
were elected Fellows of the Society. 


(i) The Aboriginal Designations for Stone Implements. By 
Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D. 

The author points out in great detail that the vocabulary 
of the aborigines was very limited in extent. Calder, whose 
compilation was probably the most comprehensive, enumerated 
only 1 135 words, some of which were unquestionably adapted 
from European sources. The results of his investigation tended 
to show that the aborigines did not have different names for 
the different kinds of stone implements they used. He thought 
he had proved that the Tasmanian natives only had one word 
for their stone implements. 

(2) On the conclusions of Dr. Noetling respecting the 
Aboriginal Designations for Stone Implements. By Hermann 
B. Ritz, M.A. 

Further particulars of the subject are given in the paper. 
The author remarks that the records were very meagre, and 
that these were made by men who had no special knowledge 
of philology. The number of words in the aboriginal language 
was small, much smaller than the lists which had been drawn 
up would lead one to expect. Many of the words, apparently 
different, he believed to be really identical, and the apparent 
difference was due to the habit the Tasmanians possessed, in 
common with the South Sea Islanders, of interchanging mem- 
bers of various sound groups. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston said their attention hitherto had been 
confined to the things themselves, instead of to the language 
applied to them. Both the Tasmanian and Australian races 
would afford a great field in the future to the philological stu- 
dent, and Dr. Noetling had opened up a question that would 
be pursued with great interest. It was the beginning of a very 
important study in connection with the aborigines. He pointed 
out that already an important work had been performed in 
getting phonographic records of some of the old aboriginal 
songs and speeches by the late Mrs. Fanny Smith. He hoped 
that permanent casts of these records would be made, so that 
they could be preserved indefinitely. 

Dr. Noetling thought that Mr. R. M. Johnston's suggestion 
that the records of Mrs. Fanny Smith's songs and speeches 
should be preserved, was a most excellent one. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw said that he would bring the question 
of getting permanent copies of the Fanny Smith records before 
the Council. 

The Chairman said it was a matter of regret that so little 
was really known of the early history of the Tasmanian natives. 
No attempt had been made to record their language until it 
had become to some extent corrupted by contact with Euro- 
peans and others. 

NOVEMBER i6, 1908. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Monday evening, November 16, 1908. 

His Excellency the Governor, Sir Gerald Strickland, 
K.C.M.G., President, in the chair. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw -offered the President the hearty con- 
gratulations of the Royal Society on his safe return to Tas- 
mania. He had received numerous congratulations from 
various public bodies since his return, but none more heartily 
joined in them than the Fellows and Associates of the Royal 

The President, in reply, thanked the Fellows present very 
heartily for their kind welcome, which reminded him of the 
welcome extended to him by Mr. Morton upon his arrival at 

Colombo, when first on his way to Tasmania. He had then 
telegraphed to assure them of the interest he would always 
take in the proceedings of this Society, and he could further 
assure them that this interest would continue as long as he 
had the honour to serve His Majesty as his representative in 

The Rev. E. H. Thompson, the Rev. A. H. Mitchell, and 
Lieut. -Colonel E., T. Watchorn were elected Fellows of the 


The report of a Committee appointed to consider the ques- 
tion of a possible reduction in the rate of subscription of 
Fellov^'S was read by the Secretary to the Council. In this 
report the Committee trace the history of the Royal Society 
for the past sixty years as gathered from the records in the 
Library. In 1848 the number of members was 123, and the 
subscription £1 per annum. In 1853 the number of members 
was 236, with a corresponding increase in the amount of sub- 
scriptions paid. In 1854 the subscription was raised to £1 ids. 
per annum, and this at first considerably increased the income 
of the Society, but in the suceeding years the records show a- 
gradual falling ofif, until in 1861 the number of members, now 
called Fellows, is reduced to 106, the amount realised being 
£159 los. In this year, at the Annual Meeting, a motion is 
submitted for a return to the original rate of subscription, but 
this is negatived by the casting vote of the Chairman. The 
report traces in detail the gradual declension in the next twenty 
years, the minimum being reached in 1880, when the number 
of Fellows was 68, and the income from subscriptions £102. 
The subsequent records of number of Fellows and amount of 
subscriptions were too incomplete to enable the Committee to 
trace the financial history of the Society in detail, but the 
tables recently compiled by the Honorary Treasurer give the 
receipts and expenditure for the four years from 1904 to 1907. 
They came to the conclusion that the main cause of diminished 
membership and income was the increase of the subscription 
in 1854. The Committee report the receipt of remarks and 
suggestions from Fellows resident in Launceston and its 
vicinity, who point out that all they get in return for their 
subscriptions is the publication of volumes of the Proceedings 
of the Society at uncertain intervals, and that the long delay 
in the publication of original papers places all authors at a 
serious disadvantage. They would favour a general reduction 
in the amount of the annual subscription as soon as it could 
be safely done, and an immediate reduction in the case of 
country members. They also suggest that balance-sheets of 
receipts and expenditure should be published in an improved 
form, and that the get-up of the annual volumes should be 
greatly improved; but these suggestions had been anticipated 
by the Council, and are already taking efifect. 

The report concludes with the following recommen- 
dations: — 

1. That the rate of subscription for all Fellows resident 
beyond a radius of 15 miles from Hobart be reduced from £1 
los. to £1 per annum. 

2. That the utmost economy be observed in regulating the 
expenditure already authorised, and that no additional expenses 
be incurred without the sanction of the Society. 

3. That any balance available out of t'he income of the 
current year be expended on the binding of the Library set 
of annual volumes for the last nine years, on the binding of 
other important publications now useless for purposes of re- 
ference, and on the purchase of recent works in various 
branches of science, so far as may be found practicable. 

4. That Fellows be requested to use every effort to so far 
increase the membership of the Society as to make it possible 
to effect a general reduction in the rate of the annual subscrip- 
tion at the end of 1909. 

Mr. T. Stephens, as Chairman of the Committee, moved the 
adoption of the Report, to give Fellows present an opportunity 
of expressing their opinions on the recommendations. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston thought that original papers read 
should see the light of day as early as possible. He would like 
to have an opportunity of looking into the report at his leisure, 
and for that reason moved that it be laid on the table. The 
motion was seconded by Mr. Brettingham Moore, but was 
subsequently withdrawn. 

Mr. Stephens said that the Council had now made ample 
provision for the publication of original papers, and no such 
trouble as had occurred in the past was likely to happen 

The President said that the immediate question before the 
meeting was whether the Fellows and others interested in the 
Society should be given an opportunity of carefully consider- 
ing the report and arriving at a decision thereon after delibera- 
tion. So far as he was concerned it would give him pleasure 
to be present at a special meeting at which this report might 
be fully considered. It was, no doubt, a very important decision 
that the Society was asked to give, and should, if possible, be 
unanimous. This Society had sur^aved for two, and very nearly 
three generations. That was a great record for things Aus- 
tralian. It fulfilled a real need in the communit}'. by oflfering 
a non-political, non-sectarian, and genuinely scientific centre 
where original thought could find a sympathetic atmosphere. 
They could not expect that original thought would be forth- 
coming with the regularity of blackberries in autumn, and there 
must be ups and downs in the volume of interest, both as re- 
gards the readers of scientific papers and those who wished to 
listen to them. It should be their object not only to keep the 
Society alive, but to keep it alive in accordance with the spirit 
and needs and claims of the times. The amount of subscription 
was certainly a factor in that co-ordination, and he observed 

with great pleasure that the financial tone of the report now 
before them was on a plain and satisfactory basis as to the 
difhculties that were referred to when they last met to discuss 
financial questions. The position was very clear, and, he would 
venture to say, more hopeful. Although the annual income 
was very small, . the difference between it and the annual ex- 
penditure was a negligible quantity. Although there was no 
reserve fund, they had not to deplore any funded or floating- 
debt, and they might refer with satisfaction to their assets, 
which consisted not merely of the library, and the position 
they held in having the right to use these premises, but also 
in the good will and position which the Society enjoyed. It 
was merely a question of using these valuable assets to the 
best advantage. 

The first recommendation was put to the vote: — "That the 
rate of subscription for all Fellows residing beyond a radius 
of 15 miles from Hobart be reduced to £1 per annum." 

Air. Bernard Shaw said that the Council of the Society was 
exercising the strictest economy. As Treasurer, he was able 
to express a hope that at the end of the year they would not 
find their accounts overdrawn. 

Dr. Noetling said there were so few members outside the 
15 miles radius that the total loss by the reduction proposed 
would not be more than £8. It was felt that if the subscrip- 
tion was reduced to £1 the probability was that the number 
of non-resident members would be largely increased. 

Mr. Lyndhurst Giblin said that no previous notice had been 
given of a recommendation which proposed an alteration in 
one of the Rules of the Society. Was it competent for the 
meeting to agree to such a. proposal without the previous 
notice prescribed by these Rules? 

The President ruled that the objection was fatal, and, after 
discussion, the consideration of the report was deferred to a 
special meeting to be held on Wednesday, November 25. 


An Introduction to the study of the Aboriginal Speech of 
Tasmania. By Hermann B. Ritz, M.A. 

The author says -that the life of a population invariably 
assumed a form which largely depended on the climate and 
geographical features and the facility of intercourse with the 
denizens of other lands. To the observing ear of the scientist 
the remnants of the feasts of the aborigines, their implements, 
and the scanty records of their words and doings spoke in a 
language of their own of those whose places we had taken for 
good or ill. It was to the words, the records of the actual songs 
of the voice that was still, that he would confine their attention, 
and their present purpose was to clear the ground and mark 
out the foundation for constructing a scientific reproduction 
of the language of the aborigines of Tasmania. As far as he 
was aware, the work done in that direction had not hitherto- 

been extensive. After stating his attempt to simplify the spell- 
ing, Mr. Ritz compared three versions of an aboriginal song, 
accounting for every word, and explaining the meaning of the 
sentences. He said there was no sign of any accidence. The 
words seemed invariable in form and widely applicable in mean- 
ing. The words were probably supplemented by gestures to 
define their exact meaning. In that respect a parallel was 
found in the sentences of the Chinese language. The fact that 
the song existed in different dialects made it most valuable.. 
Quite probably the song was connected with some important 
■tribal ceremonies. 

The President asked if the half-castes on the Straits Islands 
retained any traces of the native language. 

Mr. Ritz said that it was scarcely possible. Constant inter- 
course with the whites would cause them to neglect their own 
tongue, except as far as they wished to keep it for secret con- 

Dr. Noetling and Mr. R. M. Johnston spoke in high terms 
of the value of the researches of Mr. Ritz, and hoped he would 
continue his studies. 


Mr. W. L. May presented to the Society a number of new 
species of shells, dredged by himself and Mr. Hedley from a 
depth of ICO fathoms ofif Cape Pillar. There were 80 species 
in all, many of which had been found at a depth of 100 fathoms 
ofif Sydney, and at a similar depth off the coast of South Aus- 
tralia. Amongst them were specimens of Pteropods, free 
swimming organisms, which lived on the surface, but whose 
s'hells fell to the bottom when they died. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston said that Messrs. May and Hedley had 
performed a very notable feat in presenting to the Society one- 
eighth of its molluscan fauna at one time. 

NOVEMBER 25, 1908. 

A Special General Meeting of the Society was held at the 
Museum on Wednesday evening, " November 25, 1908, for the 
purpose of considering a proposed modification of Rule 16, 
and for other business. 

His Excellency Sir Gerald Strickland, K.C.M.G., President, 
in the chair. 

Mr. T. Stephens said that a Committee had been appointed 
to consider the question of reducing the annual subscription, 
and other matters, and had brought up the following recom- 
mendations: — 

I. That the rate of subscription for all Fellows resident be- 
yond a radius of 15 miles from Hobart be reduced from £1 
los. to £1 per annum. 

2. That the utmost economy be observed in regulating the 
expenditure already authorised, and that no additional expenses 
lie incurred without the sanction of the Society. 

3. That any balance available out of the income of the cur- 
rent year be expended on the binding of library set of annual 
volumes for the last nine years, on the binding of other im- 
portant publications now useless for the purposes of reference, 
and on the purchase of recent works in various branches of 
science, so far as may be found practicable. 

4. That Fellows be requested to use every effort to so far 
increase the membership of the Society as to make it possible 
to effect a general reduction in the rate of annual subscription 
at the end of 1909. 

He moved that the recommendations of the Committee be 

Mr. Bernard Shaw seconded the motion, which was agreed 

Mr. R. M. Johnston said that the Fellows o'f the Society 
were indebted to His Excellency the Governor for giving up 
his time, which was so much taxed in every way, to attend 
the meeting. He wished His Excellency and the Lady Edeline 
Strickland and family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New 

His Excellency, in reply, said that it was alw^ays a great 
pleasure to him to attend the meetings of the Society, and he 
wished it continued prosperity and renewed vigour. 


By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 

(Read May iit'h, 1908.) 

It has rather been a problem whence the Tasmanian 
Aborigines obtained the material for their implements. 
The discovery of certain localities where the rock suit- 
able for implements occurred in situ, and which were 
unquestionably worked by the Aborigines, has partly 
solved the problem. It is unquestionable that the 
Aborigines obtained a certain amount of the raw 
material from these so-called quarries, but it is equally 
certain that a large portion was obtained from different 

One of the best-known " native quarries " is that 
situated on Coal Hill, near Melton-Mowbray. A careful 
statistic of the specimens collected by me around 
Melton-Mowbray gave the following results : — 

Cherts of all kinds . 80.7 per cent. 

Chert from the quarry .... 6.1 „ 

Porcellanites 7.3 ,, 

Breccia 0.7 „ 

Others not included under 

the above headings 5.1 „ 

The above figures conclusively prove that, though 
the quarry on Coal Hill was conveniently situated and 
easily reached from the camping grounds near the 
river, only 6.1 per cent, of the implements found were 
derived from it. Far the larger portion, that is to say 
93.9 per cent, of the implements, were made from rocks 
which came from other places besides the quarry on 
Coal Hill. A priori one would assume that, with such 
a convenient place as the quarry on Coal Hill close at 
hand, the overwhelming majority of the implements 
would be manufactured from material obtained from 


this place, but the above figures prove that it is not the 
case. I had already noticed this fact when collecting, 
but only after carefully sorting the specimens could I 
fully prove it. 

Considering that the quarry on Coal Hill was so 
close to the camping grounds, and that, notwith- 
standing its situation 93.9 per cent, of the implements 
were made from a different kind of rock, we are 
forced to assume that the quality of the rock was the 
most essential feature when it was intended to produce 
an implement. Though unlimited quantities were avail- 
able in the quarry on Coal Hill, the quality of this par- 
ticular kind of chert was not such that it was highly 
treasured by the Aborigines as a suitable material for 
implements. They unquestionably preferred other kinds 
of cherts to that occurring on Coal Hill; but the ques- 
tion arises, whence did they procure the raw material, 
of which they consumed such large quantities in the 
manufacture of their implements? 

From the study of the specimens I collected I 
had already come to the conclusion that the gravel de- 
posits of the various creeks, but above all the gravel and 
conglomerate deposits of diluvial age, were the source 
from which suitable material was obtained. I noticed 
that numerous implements, usually of the less finished 
type, represent fragments of water-worn pebbles or 
boulders, the smooth, water-worn crust being still pre- 
served. It is, however, not till a find I recently made 
on a camping ground north of Kempton that this view 
was fully confirmed. 

This camping ground is situated on the eastern slope 
of a low hill which stands out prominently from the sur- 
rounding fiat country. It is a considerable distance away 
from any present watercourse, and about 200 feet, I 
should say, above the level of the River Jordan. Here 
I found the water-worn pebble, which forms the subject 
of this paper. I first discovered the core, and, as my 
attention was drawn to some fragments lying close about 
it, which seemed to be of the same kind of rock, I col- 
lected a few, and tried to fit them to the core. They 
were failures, but after repeated attempts I succeeded in 
fitting one to its original position, and, encouraged by 
this, I hunted for more, and eventually succeeded in 


finding sixteen fragments which could be refitted and 
placed in their original position before they were flaked 

I thus succeeded in restoring the greater portion of 
the original boulder, and, though a good part is still 
missing, and will probably never be found, that which 
has been preserved is of the utmost interest. 

As it presents itself now we can distinguish three 
different parts, two of which are preserved, while the 
third is missing, but its shape can easily be recon- 
structed. These parts are — 

1. The core (Nucleus). 

2. The spalls or fragments falling off when 

the pebble was worked. 

3. The fragment used as an implement. 

I. THE CORE. — This part measures about 7 x 5 x 
4 inches, and weighs Slbs. looz. at cap. It is some- 
what irregularly oblong in s'hape, and the lower side in 
particular shows the surface of a well-worn water pebble. 
The upper side has been subjected to a good deal of 
work, and, if merely judged by the planes of fracture, 
at least seven flakes, one of which has not measured less 
than 4!/^ inches in length, have been struck ofif. 

If nothing more were preserved than this specimen 
we could at once recognise it as a core — that is to say, 
the remains of a larger-sized pebble from which suitable 
pieces have been struck ofif, and which was rejected as 
being without further use. The size, fhe weight, and 
the absolutely unsuitable shape are entirely against the 
assumption that this specimen might perhaps have been 
actively used as an implement — a hamnierstone, for in- 
stance. Even without the flakes being found, t'he even 
planes of fracture would prove conclusively that this 
specimen has been submitted to a passive and not too 
active treatment, in other words, t^at it is a Nucleus, 
which, after the desired object had been attained, was 

The Whole surface, including the planes of fracture, 
are covered with a thick patina of yellow-brown colour. 


which is, however, somewhat lighter on the planes of 
fracture than on the original crust. 

2. THE SPALLS. — I collected altogether 39 frag- 
ments, weighing 2lbs. i^jAoz. in the aggregate, which 

apparently were struck off this core ; and 34 could be 
replaced in their original position. It is very probable 
that the remaining 5 fiakes belong to the same specimen, 
but too much is missing to permit them to be fitted 
together with the others. However that may be, the 
fact that 34 liakes, weighing 2lb. 12V2OZ., could again 
be replaced in their original position, is of the greatest 

The flakes vary, of course, in size and shape ; but on 
the whole they are of a lamelliform character — that is to 
say, of comparatively small thickness. Most of them 
show a fine bulb of percussion, and it may be said that 
almost every one of them could have been used as an 
implement. I select only two — the largest and the 
smallest — for description. The largest measures 5 inches 
in length, and exhibits a fine, smooth pollical face ; its 
general outline is somewhat triangular, the base broad, 
and pointed at the opposite end. The two lateral edges 
are sharp ; the indical face shows a g'ood deal of flaking ; 
the smallest flake measures about 2^4 inches, and is of 
irregular circular shape ; the edges are very sharp ; the 
pollical face shows a fair bulb of percussion ; the indical 
face is flat, but shows no traces of chippins:. Weight, 

AN IMPLEMENT.— Unfortunately this is missing— 
in fact, it can hardly be expected that this were pre- 
served, as it was evidently the desired object and in 
whose manufacture the pebble was broken. By refitting 
the fragments to their original place, the general out- 
line of this missing fragment could, however, be ob- 
tained by filling up the empty space with plaster of 
Paris or any other suitable material. This showed that 
the flake, which was apparently desired for an imple- 
ment, was of triangular shape, and rather thin. It 
measured about 4 inches by 25^, was Inroad at the base, 
and sharply pointed at the opposite end. The lateral 


€dges were sharp and cutting, the poHical face smooth, 
the indical face s'howing" a median ridge (i). 

One of the fragments is broken, and the fracture 
shows that the material is a dark black chert of very 
fine texture. The outward appearance of neither t'he 
core nor the flakes, which are covered with the same 
patina of hght, yellowish-grey colour, would indicate 
that the actual colour of the rock is dark black. The' 
comparative thickness of the crust of weathering proves, 
however, that the core and flakes must be of consider- 
able age, because sucli a t'hick patina as exhibited by 
this specimen is not formed in a few years. 

The specimen here described is unique for Tas- 
mania, and we can only w^onder at the chain of lucky 
•circumstances that made its discovery possible. The 
find of the core, with a large number of spalls falling 
off during the manufacture of the desired object, all 
lying close around it, proves conclusively that the work- 
ing took place exactly at the spot where it 'had been 
found. Nothing disturbed the core or the flakes since 
the day when they were struck ofif from a waterworn 
pebble, weighing probably not less than lolb. Yet, as 
proved by the thickness of the patina, a considerable 
time must have elapsed since this pebble was broken. 
It would rather be rash to assume that the very last 
Aboriginal who visited this camping ground left core 
and spalls behind, perhaps in a hurried flight. On the 

(i) Since the above was written I re-visited the place where 
the above specimen was found. Not only did I succeed in 
finding 19 more flakes, 17 of which could be fitted to the core, 
but I actually succeeded in finding the missing flake, the object 
of breaking the pebble. This had been carried away about 50 
paces to the north from the place where I found the nucleus 
and its fragments, and there it had been dropped. It is the 
exact counterpart of the cast, and I must confess that, had I 
not recognised the likeness with the cast I had made, I would 
have probably left the specimen behind. It appears, as it was 
surmised, that this piece was taken away to be used, but, as it 
was apparently not suitable, it was simply rejected, and the 
whole work of breaking this large pebble was in vain. The 
edges of this flake are broken, and it may perhaps have been 
used, but there is no marginal chipping, and the specimen was 
apparently rejected exactly as it was when it had been obtained 
after so much labour. This is perhaps the most interesting- 
discovery of all, inasmuch as the missing specimen was traced 
and actually recognised from the cast, representing its likeness. 


Other hand, if we assume that core and flakes had been 
lying for any length of time at the place where they 
were found it would be surprising that they were not 
disturbed by later generations visiting this place. The 
only way to account for it is t'hat soon after core and 
flakes had been produced the drifting sand covered it 
entirely, thus preserving it almost completely as it 
had been left. Only of late, when the sand had shifted, 
it was exposed again. Lucky it was that the plough 
had not gone over this spot, otherwise it would have 
been impossible to collect such a large number of frag- 
ments belonging to one and the same core. 

A number of interesting facts and questions arise 
from the study of this specimen. Though not com- 
pletely restored to its entire shape, we can state with 
absolute certainty tJhat the original was a pebble or 
boulder, well worn and smooth all over its surface, of 
deep black colour, weig^hing not less than lolb. As 
there are no gravel deposits or conglomerate anywhere 
near the place where it was found, it must have been 
picked up at a considerable distance, and been carried 
to the camping ground to be used for the manufacture 
of implements. 

The Tasmanian Aborigines have been described as 
a laz_v lot, and it is therefore hardly probable that the 
Aborigine who found this pretty heavy boulder carried 
is for a long distance to his camping ground unless he 
valued the material. If he valued the material it is sur- 
prising that he used so very little of it; the size of the 
core proves that it contains the greater portion of the 
bulk of the original pebble. The fragments prove that 
one, perhaps two, flakes have been turned into imple- 
ments. That fragment whidh probably has been turned 
into an implement seems to differ very little from those 
that have been rejected. In fact, considering the very 
crude flakes that have often been used as implements, 
it is astonishing to find that the two specimens wdiich 
have been here described, and which are distinguished 
by a fine smooth pollical face were not used as tools. 

It is very difficult to find a suitable explanation. If 
the rock was of the valued kind, why is it that so much 
waste was left behind? If not, why should the lazy 
Aboriginal trouble to carry the heavy pebble for a long 


distance from the place where he found it to his camp? 
Can it be possible that it was desired to produce 
nothing but an implement of a certain size and weight, 
and that all other flakes, however useful they may other- 
wise have been, were rejected till the desired object was 
obtained ? If this be the case, and I can see no other 
satisfactory explanation derived from the evidence of 
the core and the rejected flakes, we have to consider all 
the archaeolithic implements used by the Aborigines as 
a produce of the moment, manufactured then and there 
for the purpose for which they were required, and, 
having served their end, to be rejected without being 
applied to further use. This would to a certain extent 
explain the rather astonishing number of archaeolithes 
we find on the camping grounds, some of which seem to 
be very serviceable still. 



Roy. Soc. Ta-m. 1908. 

Pl. 1 

Dr. .\„rl/inp\ Photo. 



Roy. Soc. Tasm. 1908. 

PL. II. 

Dr Noclliiig, Pholo . 




By R. M. Johnston, I.S.O., F.S.S 
(Read June i6th, 1908.) 


The success of young colonies, such as those of Aus- 
traha, has, in a large measure been due to the sacrifices 
which the earlier pioneers made, from time to time, in 
making timely provision for the opening up of Aus- 
tralia's vast virgin lands, by means of roads, railways, 
bridges, jetties, harbours, etc., in advance of actual 
occupation or settlement. 

To any thoughtful person it is obvious, at the initial 
stage of a colony's history, it would be impossible to 
construct such costly undertakings without the aid of 
foreign capital. 

Since the year 1842 the six states of Australia have 
practically entered into partnership with foreign capi- 
talists in this important work of providing railways, 
roads, bridges, harbours, in advance of further settle- 
ment, and in no other way would it be possible to have 
succeeded in making the outlay of £240,149,727, in a 
period of 64 years, or at the rate of £5,024,000 per 

The following is a brief statement showing how this 
large amount of borrowed capital was invested : — 


Invested in 

Amount £. 


Railways and Tramways 






Roads, Bridges, Lights, Harbours, etc. 

25 387,083 

10 57 

Water Supply and Sewerage 






Other Public Works and Services 

28 093,589 

1 1 74 

Unexpended balance 







Has Australia benefited by this Borrowing of 
£240,149,727, or, what may be more properly termed — 
Taking into Partnership a Foreign Capitalist in a pro- 
fitable undertaking? 

The best answer to this query is to contrast the year 
1870 with the year 1906-7, within which time the bulk 
of the Debt was contracted, as shown in the following 
table : — 





5 w' 






Ex-Australian Ex- 


/26 253 000 

69,794 000 





83.798 893 







I 97 


Miles Open 


14 067 



Invested Capital 

/"g, 829, 000 

;^I40 707 404 

130 878,404 


Profit on Work- 

ing per head 

5s. 7*1 

30s. id 

24s 6d. 

Interest on Debt 

per head 

17s 2r]. 

41s lod. 

24s 8d. 

Taxation per head 

47s. 8d. 

66s. 7d. 

i8s. iid. 

Taxation, less profit 

on Working of 


42s. id. 

36s 6d. 

5s. 7d. 

Public Debt 





Income of the 

People — 

Estimated Annual 

Value Mil. ^'s. 





Capital Value 

Mil. /-'s. 



3 473-80 


Ditto after deduct- 

ing the whole of 

Public Debt 

Mils. ^'s. 



3,267 91 




Total Imports and 

Exports Mils ^'.'». 


114 52 



A careful study of the contrast in the conditions of 
the Six States of the Commonwealth between the years 
1870 and 1906-7, covering a period of 36 years in all, 
should convince all pessimistic observers that the past 
policy of entering into partnership with foreign capi- 
talists to the extent of 240 million pounds, instead of 
being a mistake or a hindrance to Australia's financial 
and industrial development and progress, has been the 
principal means whereby our present conditions, con- 


trastecl with the former period, has in every way so 
markedly improved. 

It may be of advantage to summarise some of the 
features which 'have led to this most satisfactory 
result : — 


POPULATION. — The population has increased from 
1.65 millions to 4.19 millions, or 2.59 fold. 

TOTAL EXTERNAL TRADE.— The total Imports 
and Exports (Ex-Australian) has increased from 
36.09 million pounds to 114.52 million pounds, or 
3.17 fold. 


MILEAGE WORKING.— The miles open of Rail- 
ways in the six States has increased from 994 miles 
to 14,067 miles, or 14.15 fold. 

CAPITAL INVESTED.— The capital invested in 
construction and equipment of State Government 
lines has increased from 9.82 million pounds to 
140.70 million pounds, or 7.63 fold. 

PROFIT ON WORKING.— The profit on working 
all State Railways .has increased from 5s. 7d. per 
head to 30s. id., or 5.39 fold. 

interest burden on all State debts increased from 
17s. 3d. per head to 41s. lod., or 2.43 fold. 

LESS amount from profit on the working of State 
railways alone, increased from lis. 7d. per head to 
II?. gd., or increase of 2d. per head. 

Notwithstanding that Total Interest Burden on all 
State debts has increased by 24s. 8d. per head, such has 
been the increase in the profitable working of the State 
railwavs alone^ — viz., 24s. 6d. per head — that the total in- 
terest burden connected with the Total Debt of 240.14 
million pounds has only been raised by 2d. per head. 
That is, the profits to the State Treasuries from work- 
ing railways (apart from the immeasurable material 
benefit of opening up the lands by the cheap and rapid 
mode of transit and communication have already almost 
wholly wiped ofT the taxpayers' interest burden on the 

BY R. M. JOHNSTON, I.S.O., F.S.&. I3 

whole of the accumulated unredeemed Debt of 240.14 
million pounds. 

The fundamental error in the views of certain critics, 
who lack expert knowledge of matters pertaining to the 
economics of State finance as applied to the Australian 
States, is the evident common failure to appreciate the 
scope of the functions of the general governments of 
the various States of Australia as compared with those 
of the United Kingdom, and fail to discern the impor- 
tant distinction between debts incurred for purposes of 
protection or aggressive warfare and capital invest- 
ments (also bearing the name Public Debt) incurred 
and expended in improving and permanently enhancing 
the value of the Public estate by means of railways, 
roads, and harbours. In the self-governing States of 
Australia, the scope of general government — owing to 
the peculiar conditions of lands thinly populated wit'h 
vast undeveloped areas — embraces many functions 
which, in the earlier stages of development, would be 
impossible to resign either to local bodies or to private 
enterprise as in the older more densely-populated 

Unless this fundamental distinction of the scope of 
the general government in old and new countries be 
thoroughly considered and allowed for, all comparisons 
relating to the proportion and Cost of Public Services 
and public debt between countries so differently con- 
ditioned would be worse than useless. In the United 
Kingdom the g'reater part of these services (70.89 per 
cent.) is left to private enterprise (railways) and to local 

Only 29.11 per cent, of the Total Debt for all such 
purposes in the United Kingdom comes directly within 
the scope of the revenue and expenditure of the Im- 
perial Government. In Australia as much as 93.74 per 
cent, of such functions come directly within the scope 
of the responsibility of the general government of the 
various States. 

This is best appreciated by contrasting the propor- 
tion of Loans or Capital expenditure incurred under the 
general functions of government in respect of special 
public works and services in Australia and the United 
Kingdom, as in the accompanying corporation table : — 



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BY R. M. JOHNSTON, I.S.O., F.S.S. 17 

It does not require much knowledge of industrial 
economy to realise the fact that the wealth of any 
country is greatly multiplied by the introduction of 
machinery, which facilitates the fresh creation of pro- 
ducts or diminishes the cost of production or transport. 
All the hopes of economists for the amelioration and 
improvement of the material condition of a people de- 
pend upon such agencies increasing at the initial stage 
at a greater ratio than population, and even at a later 
stage, as in the United Kingdom, the investments in 
extending its railways and other public works of local 
bodies during the last four years increased from 
£1,623 to 1,885.2 million pounds, or at the rate of £65.5 
million pounds per year, equivalent to 30s. 8d. per 
head per year. Australia, which is still in the initial 
stage of development, has, in similar investments, only 
increased during the same period from 222.87 million 
pounds to 240.14 million pounds, or at the rate of 4.31 
million pounds per year, equivalent to 24s. 8d. per head 
per year. Taking all these matters into consideration, 
it is clearly demonstrated that Australia's Capital in- 
vestments in Railway construction and other Permanent 
Public Works are, in relation to her initial stage of de- 
velopment of an area nearly as large as Europe, and 
also in relation to her population, progressing at a 
much slower rate than the United Kingdom, which long 
ago had advanced to a high stage in all equipment of 
this nature. 


It is also a very common fallacy to assume, as some 
do, that the only object which the several State Govern- 
ments of Australia .had in view in opening up the 
country By means of railways was confined to the direct 
profit which they might possibly receive into the State 
revenues from the net receipts of the railways, them- 
selves regarded as private undertakings ; that is the only 
view they can take of the vast wealth-producing in- 
iluence of railways to a country is restricted to the 
petty consideration as to how far the extension if Rail- 
ways benefit the Railway carrier, as such. If the mere 
receipts from freight cover working expenses and the 


interest on borrowed or invested Capital, the Railways, 
according to this restrictive view, are productive ; if the 
working receipts fail immediately to wholly cover both 
charges, they are deemed to be unproductive, a loss to 
the country, and a menace to its financial stability. This 
reasoning is obviously faulty. 

To the Country as a State, or to its Producing In- 
dustries or Consumers, the whole of the freight charges 
of a Railway, regarded as an item of State revenue — 
even though covering working 'expenses and interest on 
Capital — form the merest fleabite as compared with the 
actual immeasurable indirect value, added to the 
country's wealth-producing industries. 

The principal additions to the wealth of the country 
due to Railways are derived as follows :— 

(i). By the saving of time and of cost of transit. 

(2). By giving commercial value to vast natural 
products hitherto lacking value, owing to lack 
of cheap modes of transit. 

(3). By the impetus given to the creation of fresh 
wealth in areas formerly barren or unproduc- 

To estimate the " Wealth of Exchange " added to 
any country — especially a State with vast areas of virgin 
soils — would be a difficult matter. We may know this 
wealth to be great in itself, and vastly of greater im- 
portance than the possible revenues of the Railway in 
itself as an undertaking, but we have no direct means 
of ascertaining its value quantitatively. Items (2) and 
(3) can only be vaguely guessed at. But the wealth and 
other advantages gained by saving time and labour (i) 
through the improvement in means of transport can be 
very closely approximated. 

The gain from this hidden cause, although of neces- 
sity not seen in the receipts of the Railway regarded 
as an undertaking, becomes at once apparent when we 
try to realise the difference in cost of transport as be- 
tween the Railways now in operation and the more im- 
perfect means in conunon use on bad roads prior to 
their introduction. 

BY R. M. JOHNSTON, I.S.O., F.S.S. ig 

Prior to the opening up of the States' lands and the 
Loans expenditure on Roads, Bridges, and Harbours, 
the expenditure of time and labour in effecting the 
necessary transport between points of production and 
centres of population and ports of trade was very great. 
Even in the limited areas when macadamised roads 
existed, the cost of transit formed a heavy tax upon 
either reproducer or consumer, or both, accordingly as 
the product was intended for foreign or local consump- 

This aspect of the case was carefully investigated in 
Tasmania by the writer soon after its first Railway (the 
Launceston and Deloraine Railway) was opened for 
traffic in February, 1871. It was found that prior to 
regular daily timed service, and the consequent reduced 
carriers' freights forced upon the latter by the Railway 
competition, the average for carriers and coaches 
throughout the State averaged as follows : — 

Carriers & Current 
Coacttes prior Charges Decrease, 

to 1870. (Govt. Rys.) 

d. d. d. percent. 

Average Fare per Passenger 

per Mile 2-92 106 i-S6 6370 

Average Freight per Ton per 
Mile of goods of all 

Descriptions lo-oo 1S2 S-i8 81 'So 


The true interpretation of this remarkable reduction 
in cost of transit within a very brief period is simply 
this: that for every £1 now obtained as gross receipts, 
there is a hidden value saved to either producers or 
consumers of the country of at least £2, apart from the 
actual profits of the Railway as an undertaking. 

Let us now make an estimate of what this hidden 
value of railway speedy and cheaper transits means to 
the States of Australia from the working of State rail- 
ways in the year 1906-7. 

In this year there were open for traffic 14,232^ 
miles of railway, whose Capital Construction and Equip- 
ment amounted to £140,707,474. 


(1) The Gross Receipts were 

(2) The Working: Expenses were 

(3) The Net Profit on Working was 
Less Ir:terest on Loans Capital 

Per cent to cost 

of Construction. 




6 05 





Net gain to State Revenue for the year ;^88i,279* 0-63* 

If we now take into consideration the saving in time 
and cost of transit as a hidden value to the States, which 
was shown to be not less than £2 for every £1 gross re- 
ceipts, we arrive at the conclusion that, apart from all 
other indirect advantages specified elsewhere, its value 
represents in the year 1906-7 a sum of £28.910,902, 
equivalent to a present capital value of as much as 

The whole of the States' indebtedness of £240,149.000 
seems a small affair alongside of this bona fide, though 
hidden, State benefit. 

A sttidy of these significant figures S'hould give 
pause to all sttperficial or interested critics who may 
venture to discuss the wisdom or otherwise of the policy 
of the Australian States, which, notwithstanding errors 
in the practical work of carrying out the functional 
policy of the State, has resulted in giving room and a 
productive field of work to a population of 2.55 fold 
the number of 1870 ; and, after deducting the share of 
our co-partners — our creditors if you like (that is, the 
nominal debt of £240,148,727), we have a balance of the 
people's income in our favour, whose present capital 
value exceeds that of 1870 (when there was only a debt 
of £28,328,000) by a sum of £3,473,000,000, besides a 
valuable asset in our 14.067 miles of railway, whose 
■effect in saving of cost of transit alone is estimated in 
the year 1906-7 to be equivalent to a present capital 
value of £826.000,000 sterling. 

And further, let it be noted that, notwithstanding 
the Interest Burden on Australian State Debts has in- 
creased since 1870 by 24s. 8d. per head, such has been 
the increase in the direct working profits of the State 

*Note. — This item alone represents a present capital value 
of £25,179.371, or as much as 17.89 per cemt. of the total 
value of Capital invested in construction. 

BY R. M. JOHNSTON, I.S.O., F.S.S. 21 

railways alone — viz., 24s. 6d. per head in the year 1906- 
7, that the total interest burden on all State Debts, 
amounting to £240,149,727, has only been raised by the 
insignificant sum of twopence per head of the popula- 

This means (apart from the immeasurable material 
benefit of opening up the hitherto waste lands by the 
cheap and rapid ni'ode of transit) the surplus profit to 
the State Treasuries from railway profits alone now 
practically has wiped off the taxpayers' interest burden 
on the whole of the existing unredeemed Public Debt of 

The question now to ask of all panic-struck pessi- 
mists, or "foes of our own household," is. Would the 
present population, with its relatively high standard of 
living and its vastly increased wealth, have existed had 
the " retrenchment and ruin " scare of the year 1870 
succeeded in forcing upon the Colonies at that time the 
retrograde cry of ' No borrowing " and " Retrench- 
ment " ? 

Those who answer this c[uestion in the affirmative 
are, indeed, dangerous advisers on financial and eco- 
nomic matters afifectinsr the State. 



The injustice to the taxpayer of the day, and the 
utter impossibihty of the Government of the day to 
continuously adjust its schemes of taxation to suit the 
revenue needs of each year, as a consequence of any 
attempt to charge the Principal Original Costly W^orks 
of Construction, Expenditure such as Railways, Jetties, 
and Harbours, is best illustrated by comparing the effect 
upon the taxpayers of each year in Tasmania, were the 
burden of original cost wholly concentrated upon the 
Consolidated Revenue of the year, instead of, as was 
alone enables a Government to spread the burden of 
the capital over present and future taxpayers equitably, 
in proportion to the benefits they respectively derive 
yearly, arising from the valuable assets created by the 
original capital investments which are continuously pre- 
served in their pristine condition by the yearl}- main- 
tenance renewals and repairs, which, with other ordi- 
nary working expenses are, and should alone be, a 
legitimate c'harge upon the Consolidated Revenue of 
the year. 


The public debt of Tasmania on 30th June, 1906-7, 
amounted to £9,528,933. £7,528,000, or nearly four- 
fifths, was created since 1881, in a period of 25 years. 
Within this period the larger original outlays upon 
Railways, Roads, Bridges, Jetties, and Harbour were 
mainly incurred during five particular years — viz., 1884, 
1886 and 1889, 1890 and 1891. 

The following comparative table illustrates how 
disastrous and how unjust it would be to the taxpayers 
of those five years, if it were at all possible to defray the 
contracted capital expenditure of such necessary public 
works by a charge of the Principal, instead of interest 
thereon, upon each year's Consolidated Revenue 
Fund : — 



■S ° >'0 

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The illustration given in the foregoing tabular com- 
parison is most eloquent in demonstrating three most 
important ethical and economical truths, viz. : — 

(i). The injustice and impossibility, if attempted, of 
collecting from the people of the year a tax of, 
say, 114s. 6d. to 223s. 3d., as would be the case 
in the years 1884, 1886, and 1890, if the 
method were adopted of charging the principal 
of new costly works to the revenue of the year 
in which the enterprise was contracted. The 
tax in 1890 by this method would exceed the 
highest yearly tax ever collected in Tasmania 
by 148s. 8d. per head. 

(2). The impossibility on the part of the Govern- 
ment to construct new large costly works 
necessary to the proper development of a new 
country by such equitable yearly instalments 
as would do justice to the taxpayers of each 
year, if charged with principal instead of the 
interest thereon. 

(3). The utter impracticability, if not impossibility, 
of any Government to devise fresh yearly 
schemes of taxation, if the principal instead of 
interest thereon were charged to the year in 
which expenditure was to be contracted, owing 
to the frequency of its extreme and eccentric 

We can more easily realise the force of these con- 
clusions if we ask ourselves the questions — What would 
happen if the directors of a large corporate body, such 
as the London and North-Western Railway Company 
of England, in the projection of a new branch of exten- 
sion, proposed to the shareholders of the moment 
(whose individuality is ever changing hour by hour, like 
the taxpayers of a State) to charge the principal of cost 
of construction and equipment to the existing share- 
holder (individuals !), either by an abstraction from their 
rightful profits from the earnings of the original 
system's working, or ])y mulcting them in a heavy out- 
lay which, on purchasing stock of the company, was 
never contemplated nor allowed for by them in the sell- 
ing price? Why, the shareholder would regard it as a 
barefaced robbery, and would at once depo&e the Board 

BY R. M. JOHNSTON, I.S.O., F.S.S. 25 

of Directors who were mad enough to move such a pro- 
posal. When, in the United Kingdom, persons are 
found guilty of deceiving the shareholders and the in- 
vesting public by secretly appropriating Capital, Loans,. 
Money for new works of original construction, to credit 
of ordinary working revenue, and so doing a gross 
wrong to the unsuspecting investors ; or, on the other 
hand, secretly charging working expenditure with the 
principal of new costly works of construction, and so 
robbing the shareholder of the year, the acts of such 
persons would be deemed by English law to be of t'he 
nature of high misdemeanour, and there are instances 
where guilty directors and guilty chief accountants of 
Railways have received sentences of i6 years' imprison- 
ment for such an ofTence against law and justice. 



Having alread}^ demonstrated that the Wealth of the 
People of tihe Australian States since the introduction of 
Loans has increased in a vastly greater ratio than either 
Population or the present aggregate capital value of the 
tmrede€med State Debts ; and also, that, owing to the 
consequent increase of population and the growing 
working profit of State Railways to State Treasury re- 
venues, the burden of interest for State Debts, of 
£240,149,727 in the year 1906-7 only exceeds by 2d. per 
head the corresponding interest burden for State Debts 
in 1870, when the latter only amounted to £28,328,000, 
it becomes an important matter to examine the ques- 
tion, now so frequently proposed, as to the absolute 
redemption of present and future debts by means of 
yearly appropriation from current States revenue ac- 
counts towards an absolute Redemption Sinking Fund 
within a given term of years from the present date as 
regards debts incurred in past years, and similar provi- 
sion for freshly incurred debts from the date of their 

There are many suggestions recently advocated by 
very able public men interested in the problems of 
State Finance for such a purpose. 

But the real question is : How far should the tax- 
payer of the day burden himself, not only with his own 
share of burdens of the State for which he in his own 
time is responsible, but also with burdens incurred by a 
former generation of taxpayers, with the view obviously 
of giving a much lighter burden to future generations of 
taxpayers, who (having the same or a fuller benefit of 
the same Asset) by the natural increase of numbers, 
would be financially more able to bear such absolute 
weight of burden of interest on necessary State Debts 
than the taxpayers of to-day. 

The suggestions made by many of such advisers, in 
promoting the idea of creating such Sinking Funds for 
the Total Redemption of existing and future State 

BY R. M. JOHNSTON, I.S.O., F.S.S. 27 

Debts, within the limits of periods of, say, 40 to 60 
years, though eminently prudent and economic from 
the standpoint of a private individual, may still be open 
to question or qualification when applied to the 
economics of a corporate body, such as a Railway, Joint 
Stock Company or modern Industrial State. 

The policy for determining the extent, form, and 
duration of Public Loans, contracted for the purpose of 
investment in any advantageous scheme of remunera- 
tive or reproductive work or purpose, should dififer 
widely in some important respects, accordingly as it 
afifects the future outlook of the private individual, the 
corporate body, or the Industrial State, for the follow- 
ing reasons : — 

The " Life-expectation " of an individual person is 
limited, and rapidly diminishes at every stage — say after 
the age of 20 years. In like manner his natural powers, 
physical and mental, graduall}^ decline, especially so 
towards the close of the average individual life. 

The average Breadwinner of the State may be taken 
as the Shareholder unit of the State, corresponding 
somewhat to the individual as the Breadwinner of the 
Family Circle.' The average State Breadwinner's life, 
however, is practically interminable — never grows older 
with years — and, in the aggregate, whose individuality 
is ever changing in young prosperous States, the Bread- 
winners or Taxpayers at the end of a century are 
likely to possess fully five times the power and revenue- 
yielding ability possessed by the aggregate Bread- 
winners or Taxpayers of the same State at the begin- 
ning of the century, so far as any fixed amount of debt 
is concerned. E,ven if the present debt increased in 
the ratio of population, the latter, from the greater 
wealth producing asset, kept up to present value by 
current revenue for renewals and repairs, without any 
redemption of debts, would still be less burdened per 
head than the State Taxpayers of to-day. 

The important distinction between the Individual 
Family Breadwinner and the corresponding unit — the 
Taxpayer of the State — is perhaps best illustrated by 
comparing the present capital value of £1 respectively 
of the annual incomes of the private individual and the 
State Taxpayer, as in the following abstract : — 


(i). An individual — say 20 years of age — possessing- 
a fixed income, assumed to be terminable at 

(2). The average existing unit Taxpayer of the 
State, who may be regarded not only as pos- 
sessing a practically interminable income, but, 
owing to the natural increase of the popula- 
tion, his present capital value, instead of 
diminishing, gradually increases from year to 
year. In this way a given fixed burden, which 
may at the beginning of a century in a State, 
with a population of, say, 4,000,000, demand a 
tax of 41S. I id. per head, would only demand 
for the same burden a tax of 7s. 8d. per head, 
wdien the population then increased, probably, 
to over 22,000,000 — that is at the close of the 




Column (A) indicates the year. 

Column (B) indicates at each period the " Expectation 
of Life in Years of the Single Individual Life." 

Column (C) indicates the relative increase of State 
Breadwinners at each period owing to the natural 
growth of population. 

Column (D) indicates the Present Capital Value of 
every £1 of the fixed annual Income of a Single 
Individual terminable at death. The Individual is 
assumed to be of the age of 20 years at the year 
1906. The present Capital Value gradually shrinks 
with the increasing age of the Individual. 

Column (E) indicates the Present Capital Value of every 
£1 of the annual Income of the average Taxpayer 
of a progressive State. The life of the State Tax- 
payer may be regarded as practically interminable, 
and the Present Capital Value at each successive 
period increases in accordance with the natural in- 
crease of the population. 











42 10 






I. 17 




































3 17 










4 60 






5 47 




From such considerations the writer is of opinion 
that the State Taxpayers of the day stand, in relation 
to ever-changing individuahty of the State Taxpayers 
of the past and the future, in exactly the same ethical 
and economical relation as do the existing Shareholders 
of a Private Railway Corporation to past and future 
Shareholders of the same concern ; and, consequently 
(apart from the lack of any necessity to do so), there are 
neither moral nor economical grounds why either State 
Taxpayer or Shareholder of the day should, in addition 
to their own equitable share of burden mulct them- 
iselves in additional expense as by Sinking Funds for 
the purpose of relieving their future representatives of 
a portion of their own fair and 'equitable share of bur- 
dens. The latter, too, from increasing value of Loans, 
Assets, increasing number and financial ability, should 
be in a stronger position than their representatives of 
to-day to fully discharge all reasonable obligation falling 
naturally upon them. 

In conclusion, I am strongly of opinion that Sinking 
Funds for the absolute redemption of Loans invested 
in Railways, Harbours, and other Public Works should 
be restricted to the portions of such Loans whose 
Assets are short-lived and, like the terminable life of 
Marine Vessels, cannot be permanently preserved in 
original pristine value and utiHty by the proper yearly 
contributions to Maintenance, Renewals, and Repairs 
from current revenue, by which means the whole Per- 
manent Way, Machinery, and Equipment of Railways 
are ever kept up to their pristine value as State Assets. 



By J. W. Beattie. 

(Read July 13, 1908.) 

The River Gordon is about four miles distant from 
Sarah Island. Its entrance is narrow, with a bar, upon 
which there is a depth of water of about two fathoms, 
deepening almost immediately to 10 fathoms. The en- 
trance to the river has now been well beaconed, and 
renders navigation safe. Approaching the Gordon, the 
surrounding mountain scenery is very grand. Away to 
the south rhe D'Aguilar Range and Mount Direction 
stand rugged and picturesque, the next in importance 
being the Elliott Range, its southern trend gently slop- 
ing until lost in the billowing ranges which separate it 
from the D'Aguilars, while its eastern extremity ends in 
high, broken abruptness. 

Following the Elliott Range eastward, we next 
notice an elevated flat belt of open country, called the 
High Plain. Across this plain came Sir John and Lady 
Eranklin and party, on their memorable overland 
journey from Hobart in 1842, piloted by the late Mr. 
James Erskme Calder, afterwards Surveyor-General of 
Tasmania. They reached the Gordon about id miles 
from its entrance, at a reac'h of the river called " Pre- 
servation Inlet." where the relief vessel the " Breeze " 
lay awaiting them. Following the High Plain are four 
fine-sized mountain peaks, called by Lady Franklin 
** The Craycrofts," after relatives. One or other of the 
Craycroft peaks shows nicely in some of the Gordon 
scenery. Directly eastward from the Craycroft Range 
the tops of the Engineer Range are just visible. 


, Entering the river, its extensive shallows on either 
side are broKen by rushes and driftwood, forming- pleas- 
ing foregrounds to the glorious panorama which 
stretches from north-east to west. This is a scene to 
be remembered, if^ caught under favourable conditions — 
a clear early morning and a dead calm. The great West 
Coast Range, terminating here, shows Mounts Jukes, 
Darwin, Soiell, and Strahan, grouped up in great gran- 
deur, while farther westward the harbour is closed in 
by Grummet and Sarah Islands, and the distant back- 
ground of the wall-like ranges terminating at Table 

The general scenery of the Gordon represents high 
gorges, densely wooded to the water's edge, witli long 
reaches and beautiful bends. There are stretches of open 
country in parts, but for 24 miles, until the River 
Franklin is reached, it retains the character I have indi- 

There is a fine outcrop of limestone at Limekiln 
Reach, 12 miles from the river entrance, which in the 
early days was quarried and burned by a party from the 
Sarah Island establishment. 

About two miles further along brings us to Butler's 
Island, a peculiar rock close to the eastern side of the 
river. It received its name from the ofihcers of the Sarah 
Island establishment, Captain Butler, of the 40th Regi- 
ment, being one of its best and most energetic comman- 
dants. The high rock to the west of the island I named 
Cuthbertsor 's Head, after Captain Cuthbertson, who 
was the first commandant of Sarah Island, and who was 
drowned at the entrance to the River Gordon. 

Pining, as carried on in t'he Gordon and vicinity to- 
day, is mostly confined to the creeks and small rivers 
which flow into the main stream. All the pine timber 
which grew so abundantly at one time along its banks, 
and in the adjacent flats, has been worked out years ago, 
and it will take a century at least for the young forest 
trees to mature and be fit for use. 

Among the surroundings of the higher waters of the 
River Franklin, in the vicinity of the P'rcnchman Range, 
where the country is excessively steep and rugged — 
roads are quite out of the question, and the work of 
pining is botli difficult and dangerous, most of the pine 


being found on the top and sides of the precipitous hills. 
When fellnig is completed the tree is trimmed and 
barked, head cut off, and end pointed, ready for " shoot- 
ing." Jackb of the Trewhella pattern are used to start 
the tree down hill, when it " shoots " into the river bed 
below, and there awaits the winter floods to carry it 
onward to tiie Gordon. The Franklin is navigable for 
twentv miles from the Gordon for small boats, and in 
that distance there are 150 rapids, some very high and 
dangerous, and in surmounting them the boat has often 
to be carried on shore round them before progress 
further can be made. In view of the annually increasing 
scarcity of suiiable timber for the world's requirements, 
it would appear to be a. matter deserving of great atten- 
tion at tiie hands of the Government to endeavour by 
every means within its power, not only to conserve the 
existing forests, but to take every step possible to in- 
crease the supply of so valuable a timber, Avith possi- 
bilities in the future of considerable magnitude. 

Gould's Landing, a well-known Gordon landmark, 
is 20 miles from the river entrance, and about one mile 
above Butler's Island. The river is fairly open from 
the island to the landing, which is situated on a river 
flat, but to this point from its junction with t'he Franklin 
the Gordon flows through fine gorges, and is very im- 
pressive. Gould's Landing may be said to mark the 
limits of safe navigation for large craft, although the 
river can be navigated as far as the first rapids, one and 
a-half miles above the landing. Here is the first obstruc- 
tion to the safe navigation of the Gordon. Two groups 
of heavy rocks lie across the river, separated some little 
distance from each other. They are known as the first 
and second rapids. These once negotiated, the river 
continues unobstructed to the junction of the Franklin, 
aibout two miles distant. The River Franklin junctions 
with the Gordon at 24 miles from Macquarie Harbour. 
At its entrance is Pyramid Island. The Franklin takes 
its rise from Lake Dixon, near Lake St. Clair, and from 
its source to its junction with the Gordon waters is very 
confined, rough, and dangerous. Floods in this river are 
exceptionally severe, the water rising during the heaviest 
floods as high as 60 feet above normal level, ordinary 
floods reaching 30 feet. The flood waters develop a tre- 


meiidou5 velocity, racing to the Gordon at 20 miles an 

Returning now to the Gordon. Above t^he Franklin 
the Gordon is obstructed by numerous rapids. For 10 
miles its course is through low country, about' fifty 
rapids being met with in that distance. Following up 
the river, deep gorges are met with up to the Wilmot 
Range, 25 miles from Gould's Landing, and expert boat- 
men are ab'e to reach this point. 

Tlie source of the Gordon is in Lake Richmond, 
under the shadow of the King William Range, whence 
it flows ttirough picturesque surroundings in the 
Rasselas Valley, making a long and graceful sweep 
round Mount \V^right, which is known as " The Great 
Bend." From here its course is past the Thumbs Range 
in deep ana rugged gorges to the eastern side of the 
Wilmot Range, 20 miles distant, the last few miles being 
throvigh low button-grass country. From Lake Rich- 
mond to tiie Great Bend is about thirty miles, and the 
total length of the river from its source to Macquarie 
Harbour about 95 or 100 miles. 

Floods on the Gordon occur in April generally, and 
are usually heavy. There is a break of frosty weather, 
in June particularly, t'hen, from July to Noveni'ber, floods 
are always prevalent. In heavy floods the river rises to 
30 and 40 feet, and in ordinary floods to 20 feet. These 
heights apply above Gould's Landing, where the river is 
narrowest. From the Landing to the mouth of the 
river, the flood waters reach the 'height of from 16 to 
8 feet. Below Gould's Landing the current attains a 
speed of approximately 8 to 10 miles an hour, although 
in the narrower parts the velocity is very much greater. 
At the second rapids, for instance, where the river is 
narrow, and has an acute bend, as the waters career 
down they dash into the bank at this bend, producing a 
scene of the wildest confusion. 

Apart from the aesthetic side of the Gordon's attrac- 
tions, its scientific aspect, as contributing a unique dis- 
play of our West Coast flora, must become apparent to 
all, and should alone warrant beyond question its rigid 
protection against axe and fire. It is necessary that 
urgent measures be taken in bringing about this pro- 
tection, for already whispers of the erection of a saw- 
mill arc in t'hc air, and this, if once established without 

BY J. W. BEATTIE. 35' 

restrictive precautions, would undoubtedly mean the 
" beginning of the end " to the beauty of the Gordon. 
Surely we must see to it that such a menace should not 
for one moment be allowed. 

Some attempt at protection has, I believe, already 
been made, the Government having reserved a strip of 
land five chains wide on each side of the river, for a dis- 
tance of i6 miles from the entrance at Macquarie Har- 
bour. This is totally inadequate to fully protect the 
river from the depredations of the timber hunter. The 
area must be greatly extended, and my proposition is 
that all the hillsides immediately fronting the river 
should be reserved, allowing five or ten chains on the 
flat parts of the river, reservation to commence from the 
Macquarie Harbour entrance, and end at one mile be- 
yond the Franklin River Junction, Which would give a 
total length of 25 miles, and would effectually protect 
the whole of the beautiful scenery of the river. This re- 
.&ervation cannot interfere with the pine industry, no 
pine being available now on the banks of the river, nor 
would tiniDer-getters suffer inconvenience, as their 
sphere of labour would lie outside the reserve. 

The economic value of this reserve to the state, apart 
from aesthetic or scientific considerations, may be re- 
garded as practically " nil," the land being worthless for 
set'lement or agriculture, and no minerals have, I be- 
lieve, been discovered within the proposed area of pro- 
tection, so that, under such circumstances, the Govern- 
ment lose nothing by its reservation, but, on the con- 
trary, would gain, now and in future years, the approba- 
tion and esteem of all right-thinking people of this state. 

The preservation of scenery in other parts of the 
v^^orld is receiving the greatest attention, and even in 
England a society has been formed for the preservation 
of Swiss scenery. How much greater is the necessity 
existent in a country like Tasmania, relying so much 
upon her tourist traffic, to preserve by every means 
within lier power attractions without which such a traffic 
would dimhiish rather than increase, to the serious loss 
of the state. One hesitates to put this selfish aspect of 
the case before a learned society, but " necessity knows 
no law," and, after all, a public awakening may be better 
aroused by a proposition in this form rather than from 
a more scientific standpoint. 



By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 

(Read August loth, 1908.) 

The customs observed by the Aborig-ines in dispos- 
ing of t'heir dead relatives and friends have been most 
carefully described in Ling Roth's book on the 
Aborigines of Tasmania (i). But in perusing this com- 
pilation anyone must be struck by the rather conflicting 
accounts given by different observers. 

The earliest, and probably the most trustworthy de- 
scription of a native grave is given by Peron (2). Tlie 
corpse was burnt, the ashes covered with a layer of 
grass arranged in connective rings, forming a low cone, 
and this was 'held in position by small wooden wands 
crossing one another at the top of the cone, their ends 
being pushed in the ground and held in position by a 
large flat pebble. Above this was erected a curious 
tetragonal pyramid of wooden poles, covered with bark 
and tied together at the top. This structure covered a 
quantity of as'hes, and Peron is most explicit to explain 
how he extracted the bones from this grave.- 

Peron's description is accompanied by a sketch, 
copied in Ling Roth's book in which three graves are 
seen — a complete one, another opened in front, and a 
third one showing only the central cone without the 
outer pyramid of bark. 

As Peron states that " the monument," as he calls it, 
was the only one found by him, it is obvious that the 
sketch is not an exact representation of what he has 
observed, but rather a reconstruction based on actually 
observed facts. 

Peron's description is rather emotional, attributing 
to the Aborigines feelings that 'he, the sentimental 
Frenchman of the i8th century, mav have had, but 

(i) Ling Roth, The Aborigines of Tasmania, 2nd cd., Hali- 
fax (England), 1899, PP- 116-122. 

(2) Peron and Freycihet, Voyage de Decouvertes aux Torres 
Australis, Paris, 1807-1816. 


which it is safe to say were hardly those of the 
Aborigines of Tasmania. This tovich of sentiment rat'her 
mars his otherwise clear description, and he has on ac- 
count of this probably overlooked certain facts which 
would be of the greatest importance to us were they 

The account given by A. Cottrell (i) refers rather to 
the customs observed than to the grave itself. Accord- 
ing to him the corpse was burnt, and the relatives, 
having collected the ashes, besmeared t'heir faces with 
it, and tied the remainder up in a piece of kangaroo 
skin, which they wore about their person. According 
to West, the skull of an infant was taken up from the 
ashes, wrapped up in a piece of kangaroo skin, and 
worn by a female, probably the mother. There cannot 
he the slightest doubt that fragments of human bones, 
tied up in a bit of skin, were highly prized as amulets 
or charms by the Aborigines. However interesting 
that may be, it dots not bear on the question at issue, 
viz., the disposal of the dead bodies. 

It is certain that the Aborigines burnt their dead, 
but there is a considerable difference as to the disposal 
of the as'hes. If the practice referred to by Backhouse, 
Cottrell, and West had been extensive, there would 
have been hardly any ashes left. On the other hand, 
Peron's statement is so explicit that it is safe to assume 
that always a considerable quantity was left, which was 
eventually covered in the way described by Peron. It 
is therefore very probable that it was customary to burn 
the dead, and some of the remains were worn as charms 
-or amulets by the relatives, who probably besmeared 
their faces also with the ashes (3). 

(3) I quote from Ling Roth. It seems that a good deal of 
'G. W. Walker's statements are based on information given to 
him by A. Cottrell. 

(4) This fact throws a curious sidelight on a custom referred 
to by the Bible — extreme grief was expressed by going in sack- 
cloth and ashes. It is natural to ask. why ashes? If we assume 
that this custom, used by later generations without knowing its 
real meaning, was based on the custom of early mankind to 
besmear their faces with the ashes of a deceased relative, we 
liave proibably the true explanation of anotherwise strange 
custom. To besmear the face with the ashes of the deceased 
expressed the greatest grief for its loss, and after mankind be- 
came more civilised they no longer used the deceased's ashes, 
but simply put any kind of ashes on the head. 


Some writers also refer to the custom of placing a 
dead body in an upright position in a hollow tree. As 
far as I can see this was only done in cases of emer- 
gency, when there was no time to burn the body at 
once ; but they were certainly subsequently burnt. 

And now a very curious question arises : Did the 
Aborigines dispose of their deceased on the spot where 
death took place, or did they carry them to certain 
places habitually used for the purpose of cremation? It 
is pretty safe to assume that death mostly took place 
on the camping ground ; some may have died while 
travelling, while others may have been killed at odd 
places in their internecine wars. 

It is very strange to find that not a single one of all 
observers noticed whether the Aborigines had regular 
burial grounds or not. The only reference I can find is 
Braim (4), who states : " Whenever they approached 
places where any of their countrymen had been de- 
posited, they would on all future occasions avoid com- 
ing near such spots, and would rather go miles round 
than pass close to them." The same authority states 
that " other tribes, again, when it was not convenient to 
carry off the dead body to some place of interment 
would put it into some hollow tree." 

These two statements would imply (a) that there was 
a regular burial ground, (b) that the dead body was 
carried to it. Now, we know that the names of the de- 
ceased were never mentioned ag'ain by their relatives — 
in fact, thy seem to have had a superstitious fear of the 
spirits of their departed, and from this fact alone we 
may conclude that the dead were not indiscriminately 
buried. It is hardly probable that if anyone died at a 
regular camping ground they disposed of the dead body 
then and there in the way described by Peron and 
others. It is more probable that there existed certain 
areas, well known and to be avoided, where the remains 
of the dead were deposited. The question, however, is,. 
Do such burial grounds exist? As already stated, no 
author but Braim mentions a burial "Tound : but if thev 

( i) Braiim. Tlio.-^. H.. History of New South Wales from its 
•settlenreiTt to the year 1844. 1 1., p. 267. London. 1846. (I quote 
from Ling Roth, p. 62.) 


exist, the traces left behind must be very fragmentary. 
It is evident that the wooden superstructure described 
by Peron cannot have stood for any length of time. It 
is 'equally certain that the grass covering soon rotted 
away; in fact, the second grave mentioned by Peron 
seems to have been in this dilapidated condition, and 
the first one, so minutely described, must have been of 
very recent origin. We can safely assume that after a 
few years nothing remained of the rather elaborate 
structure but a low earthy mound, in which a few stones 
were embedded, and even these relics were very perish- 
able. We can only regret that Peron, led away by his 
emotions, did not make a closer examination of the two 
localities where he discovered the graves ; if he had, t'he 
question whether the Aborigines used regular burial 
grounds or not would have been settled. Had he seen 
such little mounds of earth covered with a few stones, 
there could have been no further doubt that this place 
had been used as a regular burial ground. 

A discovery which I lately made on Charlton estate, 
near Ross, seems to settle this question in favour of the 
existence of a regular burial ground. Mr. E. Cameron, 
of Mona Vale, informed me that a so-called native burial 
ground existed quite close to Charlton house. Following 
tlie fence behind the house in an eastern direction for 
about half-a-mile, we came on a most remarkable spot. 
The liill is apparently covered with sand, and right on 
the top the sand has been blown out for a length of 
about three hundred feet to a depth of over four feet. 
The remains of the covering layer of sand can still be 
seen towards north, and they are well marked in the 
p'hotograpih. The hill commands a fine view all round, 
and the photograph gives only a poor impression of the 
large area that can be overlooked. 

On the loamy soil, about seventy to eighty little 
mounds of earth, irregularly covered with more or less 
rounded stones, can be seen. These mounds are about 
three feet in diameter, and very low; in fact, most of 
them are hardly raised above the ground. I opened 
several of them, but, except an irregular layer of whitish 
tenacious clay, covered by the ordinary reddish loam, 
I found nothing. There were not the slightest traces of 
bones. Fragments of stone implements were not un- 


-common, lying scattered about among the bigger 

Though no bones were found, I have not the 
sHghtest doubt that this place has been used as a re- 
gular burial ground by the Aborigines. There is no 
agency to which we could attribute t'he heaping up of 
a number of little mounds of earth in wliich large stones 
are embedded but to human beings. It is not very 
probable 'that these mounds represented fireplaces ; if so, 
why should the whitish clay be invariably covered 
under a layer of red loam, in whidh rather heavy stones 
are embedded ? The only way to account for these little 
mounds is to assume that they are graves of Aborigines, 
and, if this be so, they must be of great age. There is 
no doubt that these graves were some time ago covered 
by a deposit of blown sand, measuring not less than 
four feet in thickness, and in that way perfectly con- 
cealed. They became only exposed W'hen the sand, in- 
stead of being deposited, was again blown away. Both 
the covering and the blowing out must have taken some 
time, and we know nothing about the length of the in- 
terval between, which may have amounted to a consider- 
able number of years. It is therefore hardly surprising 
that no bones were found. The larger fragments had 
been taken away by the relatives ; the smaller frag- 
ments, already much calcined by the fire, soon disinte- 
grated into dust, and in coure of time the ashes turned 
into a whitish clay. 

The numbei's of mounds exposed proves that this 
place was regularly used for the disposal of dead bodies, 
and this proves Braim's statement as to the existence 
of regular burial grounds to be correct. 

We may assume that not too far from the regular 
camping grounds a spot commanding a good view was 
selected for depositing the remains of the dead, but it 
still remains an open question whether they carried the 
corpses to such places in order to burn them there, or 
whether they cremated on the place of death, and car- 
ried the ashes to the regular burial ground, where they 
were interred in the manner descril^ed by Peron. 

Braim's statement, above referred to, seems to indi- 
'Cate that the bodies were carried to the burial ground ; 


but I feel inclined to think that this view is not correct. 
We know that the Aborigines shirked all kind of 
labour, and carrying- a corpse, perhaps for some miles 
to the nearest burial place, would mean a good deal of 
hard work. Further, if this had been so, it would have 
been surprising that no such procession had ever been 
seen or witnessed bv a European. We might perhaps 
assume that this was done during the night, but all ac- 
counts agree that the Aborigines had a great dislike 
for travelling at night, and this, coupled with their dread 
of the deceased, makes such an assumption very im- 

If we consider all the evidence that has been handed 
over to us, together with the evidence which the Charl- 
ton burial ground affords^ we can form the following 
view as to the disposal of dead bodies. 

When a death occurred, a pile was erected, and the 
body cremated on the spot. Probably while the burning 
was going on the relatives who attended to it used to 
smear their faces with some of the ashes, and, after the 
burning had been completed, the fragments of the 
larger bones were used as amulets or charms, wrapped 
up in a piece of kangaroo skin, and worn by the rela- 
tives or friends. The remainder of the ashes were 
scraped together, and carried, in a kangaroo skin (?) or 
a basket (?) — ^^to the nearest burial ground, where they 
were deposited in a shallow hole scraped in the ground 
by means of a sharp stone (?). After being covered 
with a little earth, the grass cone and bark pyramid 
described by Peron were erected, and the place here- 
after avoided as much as possible. 

It would be very interesting to know whether 
similar burial places exist elsewhere in Tasmania. Mrs. 
Burbury, of Charlton, informs me that a similar, though 
much more extended place, exists near Fonthill, and 
Mr. Henr}^ Foster, jun., has told me that another one 
is found on Darlington Park. As I have not seen either 
of these* places, it is impossible for me to venture an 
opinion about them, but, to judge from the description 
given to me, they must exactly look like the Charlton 
burial ground. If this be so, the fact that the Aborigines 
had certain places set aside for the regular disposal of 
their dead bodies is beyond further doubt. The only 


question which has not quite been settled yet would be 
whether the dead would 'have been carried bodily to the 
burial ground, or only their ashes. From all we know 
about the habits of the Aborigines, the latter view is 
more probably the correct one. 

It may appear that I have gone at some length in 
discussing a rather trifling question. The conclusions 
we may, however, draw from this as to earlier history of 
mankind are of the greatest importance. We may con- 
clude that early man disposed of the dead bodies by 
cremation, and that the custom of burying the corpse is 
of much later date. It is therefore not to be w^ondered 
at that the remains of diluvial and pre-diluvial human 
beings are so extremely rare. If archaeolithic man died, 
his relatives disposed of his body by cremation, and only 
under such fortunate circumstances, when it was impos- 
sible to get hold of the corpse, which was also protected 
against animals, was there a chance that the remains 
would be preserved. The few remains of diluvial man, 
the famous Spy-Cro-Alagnon race, have been found 
under circumstances which indicate that these former 
owners must have come to a rather sudden end while 
sitting in front of their cave, by being killed and covered 
by a sudden fall of rocks from above. If diluvial and 
tertiary man disposed of his dead bodies in a similar 
way as t'he Aborigines, and there is no reason to assume 
a dififerent view, the old burial grounds must have long 
become entirely obliterated, and the same fate is certain 
to happen to the Tasmanian burial grounds before long. 


Roy. Soc. Tasm. 1908. 


Pl. V. 


ROSS. (PL. in. AND IV.). 

By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 
(Read August lot'h, 1908.) 

In the monthly notices of this Society for June, July^ 
and August, 1875, page 41, the late Mr. J. R. Scott de- 
scribes the locality of a " native quarry "' as follows : — 

" It has long been desirable to fix upon a spot where 
the Aborigines obtained their flint or stone implements. 
I am now able to fix upon two places, viz. : — First, about 
10 chains immediately in front and to the north-east of 
the stone hut in Stocker's Bottom, County of Somerset, 
Paris^h of Pell. The second is about one mile more to 
the south-west, on Lot 443, on a branch of Dismal Creek 
running out of Stocker's Bottom. These two places 
are about six miles distant from the Macquarie River." 

I think the wording can only be interpreted in one 
way, viz., that the Aborigines obtained the rock which 
they used in the manufacture of their stone implements 
.from two localities, about six miles from the Macquarie 
River, at a place called Stocker's Bottom. In other 
words, that there exists what, is commonly called a 
" Native Quarry " at Stocker's Bottom. It is in this 
meaning that Stocker's Bottom has been quoted in 
Johnston's Geology of Tasmania and Ling Roth's 
Aborigines of Tasmania. 

When visiting Mt. Morriston, in June, 1908, I was 
anxious to see this locality, but Mr. Bennett, of Mt. 
Morriston, informed me that the story of the native 
quarry at Stocker's Bottom was a myth. However, I 
thought it better to convince myself whether there is 
any truth in Scott's statement or not, and accordingly 
I set out, in company with Mr. Vere Poullet-Harris, and 


under the guidance of a man who knew Stocker's 
Bottom well, who had kindly been placed at my disposal 
by Mr. Eustace Cameron, of Mona Vale, to hunt up the 
native quarry at Stocker's Bottom. It was a long and 
tedious ride ; but we found the stone hut right enough. 
" Ten chains immediately in front and to the north- 
east " we went, but there was not a sign of an outcrop 
of chert or any suitable rock, not to say of a native 
quarry. There was only black alluvial soil. We went 
further — 20, 30 chains, half-a-mile — no sign of a quarry. 
We went in a wide circle round the hut ; nowhere the 
slightest indication of even a small fragment of chert or 
a native implement. This careful examination of the 
locality which Mr. Vere Poullet-Harris and myself 
made, with the assistance of a man who knew almost 
every inch of ground, has conclusively proved that the 
native quarry near the stone hut in Stocker's Bottom 
is a myth. We then set out to hunt for the second 
locality, but, except a few pieces of dark chert on the 
slope of a low hill, I found nothing, and it seems pretty 
certain that there is no quarry at the place described by 

It then struck me that another interpretation might 
be given to Scott's statement. Can it be that he dis- 
covered some outcrops of chert, and that he only wanted 
to say that he discovered two localities where rock suit- 
able for the manufacture of Aboriginal implements oc- 
curs, leaving it an open question whether the Aborigines 
did exploit that locality or not ? This view would in some 
way account for this otherwise inexplicable statement. 
However that may be, it is certain that there exists no 
native quarry in Stocker's Bottom, and this locality 
must therefore be struck ofT the list of places whence 
the Aborigines obtained the material for the manufac- 
ture of their implements. 

Though disappointed in Stocker's Bottom, I had the 
good luck to hear of another native quarry which had 
been discovered by Mr. George Hutchison, of Beaufront, 
on Syndal Estate. Mr. Hutchison kindly showed me 
the place, and I feel greatly indebted to him, because 
it is doubtful whether I would have found this rather 
remote locality without his guidance. We proceeded 
from the road that leads from Ross to Trefusis in 
an eastern direction along the wire-netted boundary 


fence between Syndal and Charlton Estate, till a hut 
near an artificial lagoon, which is' somewhat north of the 
boundary fence, was reached. Passing it, we eventually 
reached a wire-netted cross fence running north and 
south, and, passing through the -hurdle gate, we turned 
towards right (south), and, following the cross fence for 
about a quarter of a mile, we came on the slope of a low 
hill right on to the quarry. The run where it occurs is 
known as the " Front Shelves Run." 

At first it did not seem very extensive ; but further 
examination showed that it extended for at least half- 
a-mile in an eastern direction. The sight is really a re- 
markable one, and the photographs give only a very 
poor idea of it. Hundreds of thousands of fragments of 
rock are lying about, sometimes in large heaps, some- 
times more scattered. No better comparison could be 
made than with a road recently covered with fresh 
broken metal, and every one of the fragments we see 
has once passed through human hands. 

Unfortunately, the bush is rather dense, and this 
made a closer geological examination impossible. A 
short distance towards south-east there are sandstone 
cliffs, in which now and then a little cave has been hol- 
lowed out. The relationship of the chert which was 
used for implements and the sandstone is not quite 
clear ; neither did I see any volcanic rock close to the 
outcrop of the chert. As far as can be made out, the 
chert forms a band of about 120 feet in width and half- 
a-mile in length, striking almost due east-west. Perhaps 
a closer examination will reveal more with regard to 
the geological features. For the present it is impossible 
to say anything more in particular with regard to the 
origin of the chert, Whether it is metamorphosed or an 
original sedimentary rock. The extremely fine bedding 
would almost suggest that it is a true siliceous shale. 

At the western part the chert is of dark blue colour, 
and of very fine grain ; it is very evenly striated, and 
darker and lighter-coloured bands are irregularly 
alternating. At the eastern end, however, a chert of 
'light greyish colour occurs. It would be interesting to 
see the passage of the dark blue into the grey chert ; 
but I am afraid this is impossible without a good deal of 
dig"ging and blasting. However, this occurrence proves 


that there is no fundamental difference between the 
dark blue and the grey chert. It seems that this chert 
breaks up into irregular lumps of varying size, whidh 
are covered with brownish crust. , These lumps have 
been broken by the Aborigines into irregular angular 
fragments, most of which were rejected; but suitable 
pieces were worked then and there into implements, 
while others were apparently taken to the camping 
-grounds. All the specimens that have been handled by 
the Aborigines are covered with a w'hitis'h patina, which 
sometimes, particularly at the angles, wears off, disclos- 
ing the dark black colour of the rock. 

It is very remarkable that only a small number of 
implements were found that show a considerable 
amount of chipping. Though there is an enormous 
number of angular fragments, I think that hardly one 
in a thousand is extensively worked. And there is 
another notable fact, all the specimens, which show 
either a well-worked indical face or careful trimming of 
tbe edges, invariably show a nice smooth pollical face. 
I already dwelt on this pecuhar fact in my description 
of the Native Quarry on. Coal HiH (Melton-Mowbray), 
and I can only account for this in one way. The quar- 
ries were not working places — they were quarries pure 
and simple — that is to say, places from which the stone 
used for implements was obtained. The Aborigines 
visited these places simply to obtain a supply of suitable 
flakes, most of which they took away in order to shape 
them at their camping grounds. Had they made their 
implements at the quarry, we might certainly expect a 
large number of unfinished rejects or broken specimens. 

Another fact struck me also as very remarkable, 
and I may say that this equally applies to the Coal Hill 
Quarry. In my search for well worked specimens, I 
naturally turned over and examined a large number of 
fragments, and numerous of these seemed by size, 
shape, and sharp edges conveniently suitable for a cut- 
ting implement ; yet they were apparently rejected. On 
the other hand, specimens which are well worked and 
trimmed appear to be much less suitable than the re- 
jected fragments. 


I already noticed, at the June meeting- of this Society, 
a similar fact when describing the nucleus and the flakes 
struck therefrom; flakes that were very suitable were 
disregarded, and at last one, whidh does not appear to 
liave more advantages than the others, was obtained, 
and further work was stopped. One can only wonder 
at the enormous waste of labour, and, as all the 
lower races are notoriously lazy, it is astonishing to 
note that they must have spent a vast amount of their 
labour in vain. It is very difTficult to give a satisfactory 
explanation of this unquestionable fact ; I can only sup- 
pose that every time when an Aborigine required an 
implement he wished it to be of a certain size. He 
commenced striking off flakes till one of the desired 
size was obtained, disregarding all the others t^hat fell 
off, however suitable they might otherwise have been, 
because they did not have the size, or perhaps better 
said, the required weight. It cannot be t'he shape, be- 
cause all Tasmanian implements are true amorpho- 
lithes — that is to say, devoid of all intentional form. It 
can therefore only be the size or the weight of the de- 
sired flake that came into consideration. If this view 
be correct, it would certainly account in a satisfactory 
way for the otherwise puzzling fact that numerous 
flakes which are evidently suitable for implements have 
been rejected, while others less suitable have been 
worked into implements. 

At present a fairly thick bush grows all over the 
quarry, and the traces of a great bush fire are still 
visible. These bush fires had a remarkable result on 
some of the fragments ; a large number are superficially 
cracked ; as a further result, irregular splinters break off, 
and the originally smooth surface assumes a rough, 
jagged appearance. I have a most striking example of 
this action of the fire in a well-chipped specimen, from 
which a number of splinters have already been detached,- 
while others are ready to break off at the slightest shock. 
It is obvious that if this specimen had been exposed for 
a longer time to the action of fire and rain, the originally 
well-chipped archaeolithe would have changed into an 
angular fragment, devoid of any signs of working, but 
perhaps showing still the crack'~ "^"oduced by fire. 


In conclusion, it is advisable to give a revised list of 
the native quarries known up to date (2). These are — 

1. A quarry on Coal Hill (i), near Melton-Mowbray 
(Johnstone's Quarry) — (Noetling, The Native Quarry 
on Coal Hill, near Melton-Mowbray, The Tasmanian 
Naturalist, 1907, Vol. I., No. 2, pp. 14-19). Chert- 

2. Small quarry near the railway station of Pontville. 
Porcellanite-quarry. (Weston's Quarry.) 

3. Quarry on Front-sh'elves run, Syndal Estate, near 
Ross. Chert-quarry. (Hutchison's Quarry.) 

4. Quarry on the boundary line between Glenleith 
and Charles Hope Estates, River Plenty, about 2 miles 
from Plenty railway station. Chert-quarry. Walker's 
Quarry.) (H. Ling Roth, The Aborigines of Tasmania, 
2nd edition, 1899, p. 149.) 

5. Quarry in the neighbourhood of the Great Lake, 
between Split Rock and the western shore of the Great 
Lake, according to the late Mr. Scott. This place is 
quoted in Johnson's Geology and in Ling Roth's 
Aborigines of Tasmania. Mr. Harold Bisdee has also 
mentioned to me that a quarry exists near the Great 
Lake, but whether this is the same locality as that men- 
tioned by Scott I am unable to say. 

6. It is certain that the Aborigines used the Breccia, 
which occurs in large, loose boulders on the beach of 
Droughty Point for their implements, though there is 
no regular quarry. The numerous implements picked up 

(i) Only a few days ago Mr. R. V. Nicholls, of Melton- 
Mowbray, kindly informed ine that he had found another 
quarry, about four miles to the west of the railway station. I 
have just seen this locality, and I can fully confirm Mr. 
Nicholls' discovery. The quarry is the largest and most ex- 
tended I have hitherto seen, and I will describe it in a subse- 
quent paper. I may only mention here that it is a chert- 
quarry, in which the treasured kind of grey chert was obtained. 
As there are now two quarries near Melton-Mowbray. and as 
the locality where this quarry is situated has no particular 
name, I propose to call it Nicholls' quarry, in honour of its 
discoverer, in order to distinguish it from the quarry on Coal 
Hill, which I now distinguish under the name of Johnstone's 

(2) The number of quarries having increased, I think it ad- 
visable to distinguish each by a special name. Geographical 
names not being always suitable, I think it will be best to name 
the quarry after its discoverer. 


on Droughty Point are, however, of the same kind of 
rock as occurs on the beach. 

7. A quarry is said to exist on the road from Camp- 
bell Town to Swansea, near Lake Leak. As I have not 
visited this place, I am unable to say whether this is 
correct or not. 

8. Hunter's Hill, Native Point, on the South Esk, 
near Perth. The name implies that it must have been 
a favourite resort of the natives. If I am right, Mr. 
Jo'hnston has first discovered this place, but it does not 
appear to have been a regular quarry. 

9. Pipe Clay Lagoon, South Arm (Johnston, Geology 
of Tasmania). Though there is no doubt as to the oc- 
currence of metamorphosed rock, I do not think there 
exists a regular quarry. 

10. On the Tamar River (Johnston, Geology of Tas- 
mania). Nothing is known to me about this locality. 

11. Mount Communication, Saltwater River, Tas- 
man's Peninsula (2). (Clark's Quarry.) 

Out of tliis number we may take it that Nos. 1-5 and 
II are regular quarries — that is to say, localities fre- 
quented by the Aborigines, perhaps for a long space of 
time, in order to obtain suitable fragments of rock to 
be shaped into implements. 

The locality near Droughty Point is not a regular 
quarry in the meaning of those above mentioned ; it is 
very probable that Nos. 8, 9, 10 come under the same 
heading, though, not having seen t'hese localities myself, 
I do not wish to ^express an opinion. 

No. 7, the quarry near Lake Leak, will have to be 
included in the list of regular quarries, provided that the 
information is correct. I therefore leave it as doubtful 
for the present, but I hope that later on I shall be able 
to give more information about it. There are therefore 
up to date (November, 1908) seven places known in Tas- 
mania which have been habitually frequented by the 
Aborigines in order to obtain the material for their 
stone implements. 

[2) Since the above was written I have been able to 
examine this quarry, which is situated in a very remote place. 
Mr. George Clark kindly showed me the place, and I am 
greatly indebted to him for guiding me. I will describe this 
quarry, together with Nicholls' quarry, but I may mention here 
that it is of the chert type. 



Roy. Soc Tasm. 190S. 

Pl. III. 



Roy. Soc. Tasm. 1908. 

PL. IV. 


FAUNA. (PL. VI.). 

By W. L. May. 

(Read 14th September, 1908.) 

Since t'be publication of Tate and May's Revised 
Census, in 1901, a considerable number of species new 
to the Tasmanian molluscan fauna have become known 
to me, and I think it is well to place the names on re- 
cord. I also offer observations on several species, and 
take the opportunity to describe and figure what appear 
to be three species new to science. This paper does not 
in any way refer to the larg-e mass of new material lately 
dredged off Cape Pillar by C. Hedley and myself. 

List of new records, with habitat and remarks : — 

FASCINUS TYPICUS (Hedley).— One juvenile ex- 
ample taken on the beach at Pirate Bav, and identi- 
fied by the author. Coll. W. L. M. 

MARGINELLA ANGASI (Brazier).— This has long 
been known to local collectors, but has been con- 
fused with M. simsoni (Tate and May). If I have 
rightly identified the species, then M. halli (Prit. 
and Gat.) is a synonym. 

TEREBRA INCONSPICUA (Prit. and Gatliff).— One 
specimen. Storm Bay, 23 fathoms. 

■GLATHURELLA BICOLOR (Angas).— Not uncom- 
mon in Frederick Henry Bay. 

TARANIS EDWINI (Brazier), Clathurella.— One 
specimen. Very similar to T. minuta (T. W.) in 
general appearance, but distinguished by its punc- 
tate pullus, which in minuta is spirally lirate. 
Daphnella mimica (Sowb.) is a synonym of the 


Estuary. Many specimens. 

Bay. — Fred. Henry Bay. Rare. 

NATICA SHOREHAMI (Prit. and Gatliff), Storm 
Bay, 24 fathoms. — One example. 

SCALA VALIDA (Verco). — One living example, off 
Pilot Station, Derwent. Several fragmentary, from 
Fred. Henry Bay, in shell sand. 

CINGULINA DIAPHANA (Verco).— Three ex- 
amples. Various southern localities, in dredgings. 



CYCLOSTREMA BASDOWI (Gatliff).— One ex- 
ample, Fred. Henry Bay, which seems a slight 
variety of this species. 

SCISSURELLA ROSEA (Hedley).— Fred. Henry 
Bay. Several examples. 


GADINEA ANGASI (Dall).— East and North Coasts. 

GARI KENYONIANA (Prit. and Gatliff), Tellina.— 
Two valves, on beach at Adventure Bay. Coll. W. 
L. M. 

CIRCE ANGASI (Smith).— Several valves. Storm 
Bay, 24 fathoms. 

CUNA CONCENTRICA (Hedley).— Storm Bay, 24 
fathoms. One valve. 

Henry Bay. One valve. 

6. — Tliis species was described from New Zealand, 
and is an interesting addition to our list. Cinder 
the belief that it was new. a figure was prei^ared by 
Miss West, which is here inserted for the benefit of 
Australian students. A few specimen- taken in 
Frederick Henry Bay. 

BY W. L. MAY. 55; 

PHILIPPIELLA RUBRA (Hedley).— Many localities 
in the south. ' 

MYTILUS CANALICULUS (Martyn), Universal Con- 
chologist, 1784, PI. 78. Latus (Chem), non 
Lamarck. Tasmanicus, Tenison-Woods. This, 
novel synonymy is the result of a careful exami- 
nation of our larger Mytilus, showing that the 
very large form named Tasmanicus, by Woods,, 
is not conspecific with M. planulatus (Lamarck), 
' but is identical with the New Zealand species 
M. canaliculus, which is distinguished^besides 
some difference in outline — ^by strong teeth in the 
hinge at the apex of the shell, and w'hich are 
quite wanting in M. planulatus. The habitat is 
peculiar, it being nearly always found in deep water,, 
and is occasionally obtained by scallop dredgers in 
the Derwent. I once saw two specimens attached 
to a tidal rock, Fred. Henry Bay, and also possess 
a fine example taken on the beach at Marion Bay, 
East Coast. 

AURICULA DYERIANA (Tenison-Woods).— I now 
possess one of the type lot of the above species. 
In Tate and May it is made a synonym of Cassidula 
zonata (H. and A. Adams), but from a study of C. 
Hedlev's figure of that species, in P. L. Soc, New 
South' Wales, 1905, p. 537, PI. XXXIII., Fig. 30, 
and also from Port Jackson specimens I now have, 
I find they are cjuite distinct. I also find that 
A. dyeriana is an absolute synonym of Cassidula 
nucleus (Mart). As this is a tropical species, it is 
very unlikely to occur here, and Mr. Dyer told me 
that after taking the type lot he could never find it 
again, although he searched very carefully. I 
therefore consider it to have been an accidental in- 
troduction, and that the name should be expunged 
from our list. — Sandford, July, 1908. 

In the Records of Australian Museum, Vol. IV., No. 
7, 25th August, 1902, H. L. Kesteven erected a new 
genus, Risellopsis, for Hutton's Fossarina varia. I now 
describe a second species, which is quite distinct from 
Hutton's, whilst still fulfilling the conditions necessary 
to place it in the genus. 


RISELLO'PSIS MUTABILIS (May), Figs, i and 2.— 
Shell depressed of three whorls, rapidly increasing, 
iimbilicate ; aperture large, descending in front, 
angular above ; suture somewhat canaliculate. Two 
prominent keels divide the shell into a superior, a 
peripheral, and basal area. The lower keel is con- 
siderably the stronger. There is a low ridge on 
the base of the shell, and beyond it a small, sharp 
keel, 'exactly defining the umbilical area, which 
latter is whitish, whilst the rest of the shell is a dull 
purplish black. Lip sharp and simple, somewhat 
angled by the persistence of the peripheral keels, 
which, however, have become nearly obsolete. 
Columella arched, and slightly expanded over the 
umbilicus, which is ample and perspective. Shell 
almost smooth (often corroded), but very finely 
striated by lines of growth. Height, 25^ ; greatest 
diameter, 3^ mill. Habitat. — Most of my speci- 
mens, including the type, are from Fred. Henry 
Bay, Tasmania. It occurs in Victoria also (C. 
Gabriel, F. H. Baker). 

Individuals may vary, by the keels — especially the 
upper one — becoming almost obsolete, giving the 
whorls a more rounded appearance. One example is 
highly turretted, giving it a trochiform appearance. 
Another has the last whorl partly detached. The colour 
may also become reddish, mottled with white, or there 
may be yellowish patches on a black ground. From the 
N-ew Zealand species (R. varia), it differs in being less 
round and without the keels on the base and upper part 
of the whorl, and in wanting the coarse striation. Type 
to be placed in the Tasmanian Museum, Figs, i and 2. 

The following note on the Genus Litorina was com- 
municated by n^y friend, Charles Hedley, of the Austra- 
lian Museum, Sydney, whom I also have to thank for 
kind assistance in the preparation of this paper. 

"' LITORINA (Menke), 1828, non Littorina Ferussac 
1822), nomen nudum. Ferussac (Tabl. Syst. des 
Anim. Moll., 1822, p. xxxiv.), casually wrote Litto- 

NOTE. — This species was wmngly figured in Tate and 
May's Census, PI. xxiii., fig. 9, as Fossarina Fmiiculata Teni- 

BY VV. L. MAY. 57 

rina among a long list of genera without giving a 
type definition or other means of identification ; his 
name must therefore be discarded as a nomen 
nudum. Then Menke (Syn. Meth. Moll., 1828) in- 
troduced Litorina with a classified list of species, 
tiheir synonyms, and references to literature. It is 
on' Menke's work that the genus is based. I have 
not access to his first edition, but in the second 
edition (1830) the genus is given on p. 44." 

— Shell globosely turbinate, umbilicate ; whorls, six 
rounded, rapidly increasing, the last very large ; 
mouth pyriform, columella arched, flattened, and 
expanded over a narrow but deep umbilicus, which. 
is frequently covered, and so not a constant feature. 
The interior varies from light to dark purplish- 
brown ; umbilical area white. Operculum sub-spiral. 
Within the anterior end of the columella is a pale 
band, margined by narrow dark lines. The whole 
shell is girt with fine spiral impressed lines — about 
12 on the penultimate — and strongly and frequently 
very coarsely ridged by lines of growth. Ground 
colour greenish white ; the purplish-brown colour 
pattern varies considerably in different examples, 
but usually consists of undulating and zigzag bands 
more or less broken up. The apical whorls are 
brown — lighter towards the top. Very variable in 
size. Dimensions of the type: — Length, 15; 
breadth, 11 mill. Figure 3. It differs from L. 
Mauritiana (Lamarck) chiefly in the globose form 
and colour markings, which seem very constant, 
but is connected by the impressed spirals and light 
band in the mouth. It was listed by Tenison-Woods 
in his census as L. undulata (Gray), and perhaps 
comes nearest to L. cincta (Quoy and Gaim.), from 
New Zealand. Habitat. — Widely distributed, and 
in the same positions as L. mauritiana, but not so 
universally present as that species. Type to be 
placed in the Tasmanian Museum. 

SCISSURELLA ORNATA (May), N. S., Figs. 4 and 5. 
— Shell minute, obliquely discoidal, strongly ribbed 
and spiralled ; whorls rounded, but somewhat angled 
by fhe canal; mouth large, roundish, oval, and a small 


but deep umbilicus. The canal forms a deep furrow, 
bordered by sliarp, raised edges, the whole raised 
on a distinct ridge, which surrounds the shell about 
midway between the suture and the periphery ; on 
the lower side there is a smooth, depressed area. 
The strong sharp ribs begin below this area, and 
continue round the whorl to enter the umbilicus. 
Above the furrow raised curved ribs roughly corre- 
spond to those below ; they continue uninterrupted 
from the central ridge to the suture. The spaces 
between these ribs are cancellated by six to eight 
spiral keels, much smaller than the ribs, and not 
passing over them. These spirals continue between 
the lower ribs, passing over the upper part of them, 
there giving them a crested appearance. AH these 
spirals are irregularly spaced. The apex of ij^ 
turns is squared by a beaded ridge, and is sunken 
below the level of the adult whorls. The mouth is 
well defined by a continuous narrow margin ; the 
slit is open, deep, and of moderate width. Whorls 
two, exclusive of the a'pex. Colour, yellowish white. 
Greatest diameter, i^^ ; least, i^ ; height, i mill. 
Habitat : — Frederick Henry Bay ; a few specimens 
in kelp roots. It has a superficial resemblance to 
Schismope beddomei (Petterd), but the ribs are 
more numerous and continuous, and with strong 
spirals, and it is a larger shell, and a true Scissu- 
rella. Scissureila coronata (Watson), Challenger 
report, page 114, seems a near ally. Figs. 4 and 5. 
Type in Tasmanian Museum. 

BY W. L. MAY. 

Roy. Soc. Tasm. 1908. 

PL. VI. 










By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 
(Read October 12th, 1908.) 

Quite in the commencement of my studies of the 
stone implements manufactured by the Tasmanian 
Aborigines, I noticed that the Southern tribes had a 
special word for that particular rock which is generally^ 
though wrongly, called " Black Flint." Considering the 
popular, though wrong, use of the word " Flint," by 
wihich the word originally applied to the rock from 
which a stone implement is made is used to designate the 
implement made therefrom, the question naturally arose 
whether this particular native word meant the imple- 
ment or the substance (rock) from which it was mad'e. 
At the first glance this seems immaterial and liair-split- 
ting ; but on closer examination it will be seen that the 
question is a most important one. If this particular 
word is only used to describe a special implement, it 
would conclusively prove that the Aborigines inten- 
tionally manufactured implements of a certain shape, 
which they distinguished by a special name from all the 
others. If, on the other hand, this word repre- 
sented the designation of a particular kind of rock only, 
the above inference cannot hold good, and the conclu- 
sions derived from the morphological study of the 
implements — namely, that they are devoid of all inten- 
tional shape — is fully confirmed. 

The vocabulary of Aboriginal words is, unfortu- 
nately, very limited. Calder (i), whose compilation is 

(I) Language and Dialects spoken by the Aborigines of Tas- 
mania. Parliamentary Papers, 1901. No. 69. 


probably the most comprehensive, does not enumerate 
more t'han 1135 words, some of which are unquestionably 
adopted (2). It is more than probable to assume that, 
however limited the vocabulary of Aborigines may have 
been, a fair number of words have not been handed over 
to us. However that may be, a combination of the 
results of mineralogical and morphological studies, to- 
gether with a careful examination of the vocabulary, has 
led to some very interesting results. 

In the. first instance, however incomplete the vocabu- 
lary may be, it is certain that the Tasmanian language 
had no special word for some of the most important 
implements in the economic life of the human race. 
These implements are : — 

1. Knife. 

2. Axe or Hatdhet. 

3. Saw. 

To which we may add 

4. Bow. 

5. Arrow. 

6. Spear or Lance Head. 

It may be taken as granted that the Tasmanian language 
had no distinguishing words for the above-mentioned 
six implements. Consequently it is certain that the civi- 
lisation of the Tasmanian Aborigines did not know these 
implements, because, if it had, there would have cer- 
tainly been words to designate them, and if sudh words 
had existed we would find them in the vocabulary, 
because it is improbable to assume that those who com- 
piled the vocabulary of the Aborigines could have over- 
looked the words for these all-important implements 
had they existed and been used by t'he Aborigines. 

Scott, who was probably the first who made a study 
of the Tasmanian Archaeolithes, designates them as fol- 
lows (3):— 

Flint or a knife = teroona, trawootta. 

(2) For instance it is obvious that tiie Tasmanian word 
" backalow " or " bacala " for bullock is derived from the 
English, considering that no cattle existed in Tasmania previous 
to the arrival of the Europeans. 

(3) Letter on the Stone Implements of the Tasmanian 
Aborigines. Papers and Proceedings, Royal Society of Tasmania, 
for 1873-1874, page 24. 


Plain and simple as this appears, it- is by no 
means so. In what sense is the word "flint" used? 
Does it mean to express the mineral flint, or does it 
mean an object made from flint? I think that the latter 
view is the correct one, because Scott adds, " or a 

We may therefore conclude that any cutting imple- 
ment manufactured by the Aborigines was called 
teroona or trawootta. 

At the first glance it might appear that these are two 
absolutely dififerent words, but I shall be able to prove 
fhat they are practically the same. 

If we look up Milligan's vocabulary of the Tas- 
manian language, we find under the heading of flint the 
following words: — 

Tribes about Mt. Royal, Bruni Island, Recherche 
Bay, and the South of Tasmania — North-West and 
Western Tribes. 

Mungara (Flint). 
Mora trona (Flint), black. 
Tribes from Oyster Bay to Pittwater — 
Trowutta (Flint). 

It is obvious tiliat the words trawootta (Scott) and 
trowutta (Milligan) are identical. We have, therefore, 
the following words to designate the Tasmanian stone 
implements : — 

1. Trowutta. 

2. Teroona. 

3. Mungara. 

4. Mora trona (black flint). 

It is evident that the word " trona " is exactly the 
same as " teroona," and, if we write the word trowutta 
like this — 


we see that we have apparently the same root, because 
it can be taken as certain that the words 





are tflie same. The different spelling' may be due to 
dialects or other reasons, but the main fact that they 
are identical remains. 

" Black " flint is designated as " mora" trona," and, of 
course, if " mora " would mean " black," the interpreta- 
tion would be quite simple. But this does not seem 
quite certain. 

Milligan states that the eastern tribes used the word 
" mawback " or " mawbanna," the southern tribes the 
word " loaparte " for black, and, though there is perhaps 
a certain likeness between " mora " and " mawbanna," I 
would not consider this as an established fact. How- 
ever that may be, we have therefore a — 

1. Trona (teroona), 

2. Mora trona, 

3. Trona-tta (trowutta). 

If my interpretation be correct, the rock or the 
mineral from which the implements are manufactured 
was called 

Trona ( = teroona = trowa), 

and a special kind of tJhis rock, the fine-grained, dark 
blue, or black variety, was called " mora trona." 

The implements manufactured from this " trona " 
were called 

trona-tta = trowa-tta, and, if my interpretation is 
correct, the suffix " tta " or " ta " means " made from " 
or " manufactured from." 

There still remains the word 

as used by the Southern tribes. For the present I am 
unable to offer an explanation for this word, which, for 
all we know, may be only a corrupted mora trona. 

So far everything seems plain enough, but Ling 
R'oth publis'hes a vocabulary compiled by the Rev. 
Norman, in which neither the word "' flint " nor " knife " 
is mentioned. But under the heading " stone " the fol- 
lowing words are enumerated : — 

1. Teewartear. 

2. Larnar. 

3. Peurar. 

4. Noeenar. 


It is a peculiarity of this vocabulary that almost all 
the words end either " er " or " ar," and that, thougth 
the spelling- is very curious, the first word is no other 
than the word '* trowutta," of Scott and Milligan. We 
have therefore the well-known word for stone imple- 
ment ; but, besides this, three new words, of wlhich it is 
impossible to say whether they may mean different 
types of implements or different varieties of rocks. 

Now, if we refer to Ling Roth's second vocabulary, 
Appendix B, we find under the heading " a stone " the 
following words : — 

1. Loine (Dove, Jorgen-Jorgensen, and Brain). 

2. Lenn-parena (Gaimard). 

3. Peoora (Scott). 

4. Nannee (Dove, Jorgen-Jorgensen, and Brain). 

5. Nami (M'Geary). 

6. Loine (Peron). 

7. Lennicarpeny (Dove, Jorgen-Jorgensen, and 


8. Longa (dO). 

That is to say, quite a number of words, among 
which we can only identify " peoora " with Norman's 
" peurar." As it is, however, certain that " loine " and 
" loine," as well as " nami " and " nannee," and " lenn- 
parena " and " lenni-carpeny " are identical, the above 
list is reduced to four new words, and we would there- 
fore have, including Normans three new words, seven 
words for " a " stone. 

A reference to Milligan's vocabulary proves, how- 
ever, that this list is less formidable than it appears. 
Under the heading " stone " he gives the following 
words : — 

Tribes about Mount Royal, Bruni Island, Recherche 
Bay, and the South of Tasmania — North-West and 
Western Tribes. 

Loinah, Louna, or Loine, Noanyale. 

Tribes from Oyster Bay to Pittwater. 


This proves that the words 

Loinah, loine, loine, louna, longa, 

and probably also larnar, are identical, and simply meant 
a stone of any kind in the dialect of the Southern tribes. 

Further, it may be taken as pretty certain tihat the 


are identical, and that these words meant " a stone " in 
the dialect of the Eastern tribes. The relationship be- 
tween this word and the word " loina " is unquestion- 
able, inasmuch as " loan," " lenn," " leni " represent 
probably the same word. Could we prove that in t)he 
dialect of the North-West and Western tribes the " 1 " 
is turned into " n," the word " noanyale " would more 
correctly spell " loanyale," and therefore contain the 
same root, " loan " or " loina," as the other words. 

We have therefore ten words, viz. : — 

1. Loine. 

2. Loine. 

3. Loinah. 

4. Louna. 

5. Longa. 

6. Larnar. 

7. Loan-tennina. 

8. Lenn-parenna. 

9. Leni-carpeny. 

10. Loan (noan)-yale. 

There can be no doubt that fhe first six words are 
identical, and simply mean a stone (of any kind). It is 
difficult to say whether the last four words have the 
same general meaning as " loinah." To me it seems 
more probable that they represent certain kinds of rocks. 
We know that the Aborigines called freestone " ponin- 
galee." The iron glance from wliich they made the red 
ochre was called " latta-winne," and the red ochre was 
" lalla-winne." These composite words seem to prove 
that the four words above-mentioned represent certain 
kinds of rocks, and this view is generally strengthened 


by the fact that in the word for freestone the last word, 
" galee," is t'he same as that in l(n)oan-yale. The most 
conspicuous rock of Tasmania, even more so than the 
freestone, is the Diabas, and, if there existed a word for 
freestone, it is more than probable that there was also 
a word for Diabas, and that one of these four words 
stands for Diabas. Next to the Diabas comes the mud- 
stone, and for the Eastern tribes the granite. If free- 
stone was " ponin-galee," is it too ras'h to assume that 
the closely-connected mudstone was " l(n)oan-galee 
(yale) " ? The other words stand either for Diabas or 
for Diabas and granite. 

There remain, therefore, three words — 

1. Peurar = peoora, 

2. Nannee = nami, 

3. Noeena(r). 

If we consider the very different spelling of Nor- 
man's words, I only need to refer to a comparison of 
the words teewartear (Norman) and trawutta (Milligan 
and others). It is not very improbable that the word 
" noeena(r)" really means " loina," and, if we further 
consider wihat has above been said about the change of 
the letter " 1 " into an " n," the words " nannee " and 
" nami " originally spelt " lannee " and " lami." These 
last two words have therefore most probably to be in- 
cluded under the above list, meaning nothing else but 
" a stone." 

We have therefore arrived at a probable very accu- 
rate view as to the meaning of all these words except 
the word 

Peurar = peoora. 

Mr. Ritz has kindly told me that in his opinion this 
word should represent something spherical. In many 
languages, as Mr. Ritz tells me, the " bll " or " pll " 
means something round or spherical (i). There is no 
doubt that the word " peura " can be pronounced in 
such a way as to closely resemble the primitive root, 
and I think that Mr. Ritz's suggestion is probably cor- 
rect. We can practically divide the whole group of Tas- 
manian implements into two classes — the chipped tron- 
attas and the spherical pebbles — represented by the 

(i) For instance the word " ball." 


sacred stones. It is not only probable, but pretty cer- 
tain, that the water-worn, rounded-off pebbles, which 
were turned into sacred stones, were distinguished by a 
different word from the ordinary tronatta, and Mr. 
Ritz's hypotihesis comes probably very near the truth. 

The result of these somewhat lengthy considerations 
may be condensed as follows : — 

The words 

1. Loine, loine, loinah, louna, longa, larnar, 

noeenar mean a stone (of any kind). 

2. Loan-tennina, lenn-parenna, leni-carpeny, 

noan-yale probably represent special kinds 
of rocks, such as granite or Diabas. 

3. Peurar, peora probably means a pebble, per- 

haps a sacred stone. 

4. Trona, teroona is the word for the rock from 

which an implement i^ made. 

5. Mora trona means a peculiar variety of trona, 

distinguished by a bluis'h black colour and a 
fine conchoidal fracture. 

6. Tronatta, trowutta, trawootta, teewartear is 

the name for the implements which were 
manufactured from trona or mora trona. 

7. Mungara, meaning unknown ; perhaps cor- 

rupted from mora trona. 

The main and most important result of this investi- 
gation is the establishment of the fact that the Tas- 
manian language knew perihaps two, but most probably 
only one, word for the implements which were produced 
by working certain classes of siliceous rocks. 

I particularly wish to point out that the fact is fully 
corroborated by the results of the morphological exami- 
nation of the tronattas. These examinations proved 
that the tronatta is a kind of universal implement whidh 
was indiscriminately used for chopping, cutting, scrap- 
ing, boring, and hammering. The Aborigines did not 
manufacture an implement which, for instance, solely 
and exclusively served the purposes of a knife, or a 
chopper, or a scraper. Any suitable fragment of rock 
could be used for any of these actions above-mentioned, 
and we must take it as granted that the Aborigines 
never manufactured special implements to serve special 
purposes only. 

•68 ON DR. noetling's conclusions. 


By Hermann B. Ritz, M.A. 
(Read October 12th, 1908.) 

Dr. Noetling's conclusions are that — 

(a) There were two classes of stone utensils — one- 
consisting of round, water-worn stones, called 
pe-ura, and used for religious ceremonies ; the 
other of dhipped, sharpened stones, called by 
various names, and used for cutting; 

(b) The Aborigines had perhaps two words, but 
probably only one, for siliceous implements ; 

(c) The Aborigines did not manufacture special 
implements for special purposes. 

The arguments he adduces from the aboriginal 
vocabulary are so cogent that his conclusions are almost 
inevitable. It seems to me that only some of the details 
are arguable, and I shall confine myself to these. 

When we investigate the language of the Aborigines 
we meet at the outset with serious difficulties. In the 
first place, the records are very meagre, and then, even 
these were made by men who had no special training in 
philology. Still, a careful collation of the vocabularies 
will enable us to arrive at a greater amount of positive 
knowledge than would at first be suspected. 

Subject to correction, I would conclude from my in- 
vestigation that — 

(a) The number of words in the aboriginal 
vocabulary is very small — much smaller than 
the lists drawn up by Calder, Milligan, Ling 
Roth, and others would lead one to expect; 


(b) Many words, apparently different, are really 
identical ; 

(c) The apparent differences are due to a faculty 
the Tasmanians seem to have had, in common 
with the South Sea Islanders — namely, that of 
interchanging tihe members of certain sound 
groups, for instance, the liquids " 1," " m," " n," 
" r ;" and, again, the dentals " t " and " n " and 

(d) The vow'cls seem to have been particularly sub- 
ject to variation. Of course, this phenomenon 
is, like the one just mentioned, also found in 
the Indo-European languages. 

These points are illustrated by the evidence adduced 
"by Dr. Noetling, and we may now proceed to the discus- 
sion of his paper. 

He states that the aboriginal vocabulary contains 
no word for knife, axe, saw, bow, arrow, spear-head. 
I could not find any of these myself, for the word for 
spear-point— poyeena, poyeenta — bears a remarkable 
likeness to the English " point " — perhaps, in the former 
case especially, assimilated to " pe-na," an aboriginal 
word, to which we shall refer again. 

Still, there are words for " gun " or " musket " — 
'" le rina," " le langta," " pawleena " (pawl-lina) ; but 
these, when dissected, mean simply " swift weapon," 
" long or far-reaching weapon," " round or powerful 
weapon." Indeed, it is these very words that gave me 
what I think is the clue that will enable us to find a 
way out of the apparent confusion of the aboriginal 

Next, Dr. NoetHng discusses the word " trowatta," 
which denotes a chipped implement. It consists of two 
parts — "tro " and " atta." He offers the conjecture that 
" tta " is analogous to the " t " in ama-t-us (Lat.), ly-t-os 
(Gr.), gelieb-t (Ger.), love-d (Eng.), and denotes some- 
thing finished or made. The abruptly-ending sound of 
■*' t " would seem to support this view. 

On the other hand, when we examine the vocabu- 
lary, we find the " t " or " n " (with the Oceanic epi- 
thetic vowel, in practically all the nouns. For instance, 


we have liem-e-na and lim-ete (abscess), lie-ta and ne-na 
(sharp), Hke a knife ; thus, " atta " may be a mere noun- 
.suffix, though even then it might indicate a state of com- 

This leaves " tro " to account for. Dr. Noetling con- 
jectures it to mean rock or stone. 

I agree with this, but would go further back — viz., 
to " hard," as we have " tera-na," " teri-na " for bone, 
" tra-mu-ta " a pebble, rolled quartz, where " mu " is 
perhaps round, as in " ma-bea," to turn round (with 
verbal suffix " bea "). " Teru-na," a cutting flint, and 
" tro-na," flint, seem to be forms of the same word. 
Thus " trow-atta " would mean a hard thing finished (by 

In " mora trona " (black flint) we have " mora," not 
black, but heavy ; thus, the heavy, hard thing. 

" Mungara " presents some difihculties. It mig^ht be 
a compound of " muna " and " ga-ra." Now, " muna " 
means wood, fog, therefore, perhaps, dense, solid, and 
is very near to " mura " (heavy). " Ga-ra " may have 
affinity with the second part of " ponin gale " (freestone), 
" noan yale " (mudstone), where " ponin " may be con- 
nected with " pona," white (cloud), while we find 
" noan " to be the western equivalent of " loina " (stone), 
or^ rather, sharp instrument. " Gale " or " yale " may be 
connected with " ya-na " (teeth), the natural knives. 

We mentioned the cognates " lie-ta " and " ne-na " 
as meaning " sharp cutting." The significant part is " li " 
or " ne." This we find again in the following words for 
"stone," mentioned by Dr. Noetling: — " Loi-ne," 
" le-nni," " na-nni," " noan gale," and we may 
strengthen the conjecture of the identity of " li " and 
" ni " by some analogous cases. We find the following 
words for " woman " — " Iowa," " loa-le," " noa-lia," 
" nowa-lia ;" for " bird," " lae-re-ne," " nia-rana," " nie- 
ri-na;" for "swift," " lung-a-na," " mung-a-na " (to fly 
like a bird) ; " lang-a-na," " lag-a-na," " dog-na (foot) ; 
" nung-a-na " (boat), for "running thing;" " lug-a-na " 
(river water) ; " nug-e-tena (rain, with double suffix to 
indicate nniltitude of drops) ; " nug-a-ra " (drink). 


We find " li " or " iii " also in the form " ri. We have 
" H-e-na," " le-na," " re-na " (kangaroo) ; " re-na " (water 
rat) ; " re-ne " (to run) ; " li-a " (water) ; " li " (weapon). 

All these meanings are comprised in swift or speedy. 
An edged stone will be speedier in its work as a tool 
than a blunt one, and the characteristic of a living 
animal, a running stream, a boat, a foot, a bird, is 

I agree with Dr. Noetling that " loan-tennina," 
" lenni-parenna," and " leni-carpeny " are words of the 
same meaning. Analysing them, we find the first parts, 
" loan," " lenni," and " leni," meaning " stone suitable 
for sharpening." Stones seem to have Ihad no meaning 
and no name except in so far as they were found useful. 
" Tennina " may be akin to " tenine " (a finger or toe- 
nail), " something that scratches." " Parenna " seems to 
be a form of " pe-re-na," wbere " pe " would mean 
" pointed, sharp," as in " pe-na " (a lance or spear), and 
" re " would be " cutting." " Carpenny " may be com- 
posed of " kaw " (teeth), " pe " (sharp), and the suffix 
" ny " or " ne." 

The round stone, presumed to have been used for 
religious ceremonies, was called " pe-ura." The explana- 
tion of this word is specially difficult, as we do not know 
the exact pronunciation of it. If the "' r " is harshly 
trilled — as it evidently was ^yhen the recorders wrote 
the same word as "prena" and " perina," " trona " and 
" teruna " — it is quite possible that " peura " was but 
another form of " palla " (round), as we find it in " pala " 
(sun, star), " pala " (man), " pula-tula " (eye), " pul- 
bena " (frog), perhaps a bull-frog, " poira " (round 
shell). This presents a suggestive analogy with " ball," 
"bull-et," "bowl," "bill-et," "pill," "barrel," "pear," 
" berry," " apple," " malum." 

Another conjecture is tliat "peura" is a form of 
" pe-una," where " pe " would have the meaning of to 
hurt from " pena " (spear), and " una " means fire. In 
support of this we have " mungara puna " (scar), such 
as would be caused by wounds inflicted during religious 
ceremonies, and cauterised to preserve the marks, and 
at the same time prevent mortification. Of conjectures 
there is no end, but there is at any rate a beginning; 


and in the dissection of the aboriniginal words and the 
collation of their parts, a scientific process is begun 
which may lead to more satisfactory results than are 
attainable to-day. Conjectures there must be, for we 
cannot seek unless we know what we hope to find. 

In conclusion, I desire to lay stress on the fact that 
the available records are in a very unsystematic form. 
As a curious illustration, I would mention the transla- 
tion of the first dhapter of Genesis, attributed to Mr. 
Thos. Wilkinson. Ling Roth's book gives a very dif- 
ferent rendering from that contained in the J. B. Walker 
Memorial volume, although G. W. Walker's MS. Journal 
is quoted ; and, again, even that quotation is different 
from its counterpart in the Memorial volume. 

Further, not only does Ling Roth mention some 
records which have apparently disappeared — viz., tihose 
of Wilkinson and Sterling — but it is quite probable that 
other manuscripts exist which are of no other than 
sentimental value to the present possessors, and would 
no doubt be obtainable for transcription. If the Royal 
Society were to make a public appeal for the gift or loan 
of such records, some valuable material might be saved 
from oblivion. 

I would finally mention that I have heard that 
t'here exist some phonographic records of the actual 
aboriginal speech ; if these could be found, they would 
he of the greatest value. As far as I am able to advance 
the study of that speech I shall do my utmost, and feel 
confident that the Royal Society will encourage my 



By Hermann B. Ritz, M.A. 
(Read November i6, 1908.) 

As far as I am aware, the work done hitherto with 
regard to philological studies of the Tasmanian lan- 
guage has not been extensive. Ling Rot'h gives in an. 
Appendix to his book on " The Aborigines of Tas- 
mania " an apparently full bibliography of the subject. 
Among the works mentioned there as dealing with the 
Speech of the Aboriginals, we find the following: — 

CALDER. — Language of the Aborigines of Tas- 

JORGENSEN. — The Aboriginal Languages of Tas- 

LATHAM. — Elements of Comparative P'hilology. 

MILLIGAN. — Vocabulary of the Dialects of some 
of the Aboriginal Tribes of Tasmania. 

MILLIGAN. — On the Dialects and Languages of 
the Aboriginal Tribes of Tasmania, and on their 
Manners and Customs. 

MULLER.— r-Grundriss der Spradhwissenschaft. 

J. B. WALKER. — Notes on the Aborigines of Tas- 
mania, extracted from the manuscript Journals 
of G. W. Walker. 

There are, besides, vocabularies by Norman, Dove, 
Braim, Cook, Gaimard, La Billardiere, McGeary, Peron, 
Roberts, Scott. 


Ling Roth has evidently made use of ah these 
sources of information, and embodied the result of his 
researches in his book ; but though very valuable for its 
suggestiveness, his work is not that of a trained philolo- 
gist, and it will be necessary to verify and re-examine 
his references. 

In Appendix F, he states : — " As all the vocabularies 
handed down to us are English-Tasmanian, and none 
are Tasmanian-English, it was suggested to make a 
compilation of one Tasmanian-Englis'h vocabulary from 
all the vocabularies. The initiative is due to Mrs. E. B. 
Tylor. In preparing this vocabulary, I have attempted 
to simplify the spelling as follows, where I have felt that 
I could safely do so without impairing the integrity of 
the word." 

Then follow the phonetic letters proposed to be em- 
ployed. They are, as far as the vowels are concerned, 
analogous to the Italian " u," " i," " e," " ia." " C 
guttural " is to be written as " k." No other letters are 
mentioned. Duplicated consonants are simplified, and 
" th," " ch " are to be left unchanged, being doubtful. 

When we examine this Tasmanian-English vocabu- 
lary W'C observe that — 

1. There are words in it not contained in the Eng- 
lish-Tasmanian vocabularies given in the same book. 
For instance, " abri," arm; " arpu," yes. It would seem 
tihat Ling Roth used other vocabularies as well, or else 
did not give the whole of the vocabularies he names ; or 
permitted misprints to remain. He quotes " alree " for 
" arm," from Dove's list. How is a reader to know 
whether "alree" or "abri" is a misprint? At all 
events, this work will have to be done over again. 

2. There are many Avords taken from the French 
vocabularies, in which the French phonetic spelling is 
retained, instead of being transliterated according to 
Italian phonetics. 

In Appendix C we find Milligan's vocabulary of 
various tribes. This, apart from some printer's errors, 
is almost, but not quite, identical with that q-uoted by 
Calder in the Parliamentary Paper wihich Sir Elliott 
Lewis caused to be compiled in 1901. Here, again, veri- 
fication is necessary. 


A curious discrepancy exists in connection with por- 
tions of the Book of Genesis, translated by Thos. Wil- 
kinson at Flinders Island in 1833. One specimen of it 
is given by Ling Roth in Appendix D ; another is in 
the J. B. Walker Memorial Volume, and is evidently 
an extract from Geo. W. Walker's Journal. 

Now, we should expect transcripts of the same text 
to be practically identical ; but these two specimens 
differ essentially from each other. 

In the first place, the spelling is quite different. A 
few examples will suffice to s'how this : Walker gives 
" pomleh " for " made ;" Ling Roth, " pomable." 
Walker gives for " darkness " " lywerreh ;" Ling Roth, 
" lewara." For " said," Walker gives " kany," Ling 
Roth " carne." 

Walker states that Thos. Wilkinson translated three 
chapters of Genesis, and also composed a considerable 
vocabulary of words. If the rest of the translation and 
that vocabulary could be found, they would be most 
serviceable for the study of the language. 

In Appendix E, Ling Roth transcribes fairly accu- 
rately the " Popular Song " from Walker's Journal, and 
refers, for the purpose of comparison, to a version of 
the same " song " by Milligan, in Appendix C, but over- 
looks the version quoted by himself in Appendix D, 
from Davies. 

These three versions of the same song are very in- 
teresting, and may prove very important. 

To compare small things with great, we might 
notice the curious analogy with the Rosetta stone, and 
its inscription in three languages, which enabled Cham- 
pollion and Young to find the key to the hieroglyphics 
of Egypt ; and also with the trilingual rock inscriptions 
at Behistan, which Led Rawlinson to discover the secret 
of reading the ancient languages of Persia, Babylon, 
and Assyria. 

Of course, our own task is not so difficult, nor is its 
importance so great ; still, the trilingual record of the 
same meaning should lead us to some definite result in 
our quiet backwater of human life. 


Let US then compare the three versions of our song, 
and see what conclusions we can deduce from them. 
Omitting mere repetitions, as not pertinent to our pre- 
sent purpose, we quote from Ling Rot'h : — 

MilHgan's version: — Pappela rayna 'ngonyna; toka 
mengha leah ; lugha mengha leah ; nena taypa ra3ma 
poonyna, nena nawra pewillah, pallah nawra pewillah ; 
pellawah ! 

Davies' version: — Ne popila raina pogana; thu me 
gunnea ; thoga me gunnea ; naina thaipa raina pogana ; 
nara paara, poiveha paara ; bahahoo ! Hoo ! 

G. W. Walker's version : — Poppyla-renung, onnyna ; 
tcmingannya, lemingannya ; taukummingannya ; nyna 
tepe rena ponnyna ; nyna nara pewilly para ; nara 
pewilly pallawoo ! 

This version is slig^iitly different in the Memorial 
Volume : — Instead of temingannya we have lemin- 
gannya. It is probable that temingannya is a misprint 
for lemingannya, or vice versa. 

On analogy with the rest of the song, it is more 
likely that lemingannya should be repeated than that 
another word, however similar, should be used. Stilk 
temingannya will also give an appropriate sense ; and 
we shall refer to it again in t'hat light. 

For convenience of reference, we shall denote MilH- 
gan's version by M., Davies' version by D., and 
Walker's by W. 

Looking at the whole text, we at once notice that 
practically all the words end in " a," " ah," " na," or 
" ne." We may safely assume that these endings have 
no essential meaning, whatever meaning they may have 
had originally. We find the same phenomena in many 
other languages. For instance, the ending "a" indi- 
cates the feminine gender in all the languages of the 
Indo-European family ; " s " is most commonly the sign 
of the masculine gender, as we find it, e.g., in Aeneas, 
dominus, eques, visus ; in " res," etc., the " s " is really 
borrowed from the masculine nouns, and the word is 
akin to mensa. 


In Icelandic, we have a still more striking instance 
in the addition of the sound " r " to nouns and adjec- 
tives ; in verbs this is softened to " a." We have, com- 
paring the Icelandic words with their English equiva- 
lents, kongr for king, hundr for hound, vikingr for 
viking, grar for gray, langr for long, blindr for blind. 

To get at the chief meaning of the words, therefore,, 
we must cut off these excrescences ; but this must be 
done judiciously, for we may not know at first whether 
in rayna, for example, the "n" belongs to the root or 
to the ending. 

Our merit in trilingual interpretation is very much 
diminished by the fact that we possess already fairly 
complete lists of the words used by the Aborigines. We 
are not to expect in their case a vocabulary as copious 
as that of a race far more remote from the " simple 
life," and the words we have are, comparatively speak- 
ing, quite numerous 'enough to supply all the needs of 
communication that may have been felt by the primitive 
minds of our predecessors. The word " predecessor " 
is singularly appropriate in this connection. It means 
" One who has stepped down before," " One who has 
pre-deceased," " One who has done before our time 
what ourselves shall have to do before long — that is^ 
stepped down from the eminence of being the lord of 
all he surveys." 

Now, Milligan tells us that our song was sung in 
praise of a great chief, one who has been high in power 
and glory, and has stepped down and is now forgotten. 
The very fact that this song was, as Walker tells us, 
used by all the' Aboriginal tribes, must have had a 
melancholy interest for t'he temporary recipient of the 
honour, if ever he realised that, after all, he was not the 
very first in power and glory. 

From these hints, we may conclude that the song 
probably indicated the reasons for conferring special 
honour on a man. Now, .in their simple lives, there was 
not much scope for the display of excellence ; their 
needs were few, consisting almost exclusively of food 
and protection against enemies ; and the best man would 
be who was best able to procure plenty of food, and 
security in the peaceful enjoyment of it. Their hero 


would be a man strong of body and swift of foot and 
arm ; and the song in his honour would la}^ stress on 
these qualities, and express admiration for t'heir pos- 

Resuming our scrutiny, we find in D. the first word 
"' ne," which does not occur in M. and W. We know 
that " ne-na " means "sharp;" if also means "you," 
and " no," and " that " (the probable meaning of the 
ending " na "), and " lo !" or " pay attention !" 

We may take all these meanings together in the idea 
of " separate from me." The significant sound " n " is 
formed by closing the mouth and parting the lips ; with 
the " sharp " teeth pressing on the tongue, the outer 
world is shut off from the speaker. As the joining of 
the lips inwards forms " m," and refers to the speaker 
as " me," so the exclusion implies the " not-me," the 
" you," " that," " no," the object of our attention. 

We may therefore take " ne " in D. to mean Lo ! 
The real beginning of the song is pappela, popila, 
poppyla. Ling Roth gives us pawpela and papla as 
" big," " large." 

Here we notice first the reduplication of the '' p," 
which indicates emphasis, as implying greater energy 
in pronouncing the initial sound of the word. Ling 
Roth gives several examples of this — e.g., kana, to talk; 
kakana, to talk loudly ; mura, heavy ; mumura, tree. 

This leaves "' pel " as the chief part, and in it we find 
the echo of pill, ball, and the Tasmanian palla, " man " 
and " sun," and peura, " round." To the Aboriginal 
inind, muscular development or roundness was an indi- 
tion of strength ; a lean man would not have the same 
strength as a stout one. In confirmation of this, we 
need only refer to the Japanese and Turkish wrestlers, 
who are usually very corpulent. 

Thus we get for popela the meaning " very strong." 
We have not taken any notice of the vowels, and that 
for two principal reasons. In the first place, vowels in 
all languages are very subject to variation, and secondly, 
the uncertainty of the accuracy of the phonetic repre- 
sentation of the vowels given in our records makes it 
unsafe to relv on it for an argument. 


The next word is given as rayna, raina, renung. In 
W., it is almost certain that the letters have been 
wrongly apportioned, for M. gives the following word 
as 'ngonyna, which is confirmed by gunnea in D. ; so 
that the second word in W. should be rene, and the 
t'r'drd, 'ngonnyna. 

Thus we get in each case rene, which means 
" speedy," " to run." 

The third word in common is 'ngonyna in M., 
'ngonnyna in W., and three words farther on D. gives 
us gunnea. These are evidently identical with 'ngune, 
" fire." We note that the D. version gives words of 
simpler and more guttural sound than those of M. and 
W., so that it is quite in accord with the general cha- 
racter of the D. version to have gunnea as equivalent 
of 'ngonyna. D. alone gives here pogana, " man." We 
shall find other words for " man " fart'her on, in the 
three versions. 

Next we have — 

In M., toka mengha leah, lugha mengha leah. 

In D., thu, me gunnea, thoga me gunnea. 

In W., iemingannya or temingannya, taukummin- 

To begin with, we must split up the long words in 
AV. We get le" mi "ngannya or te mi 'ngannya, tauku 
mi 'ngannya. 

Now, toka means " heel," and lugha, " foot." 

We recognise toka again in thoga in D., in tauku in 
W., and in the shortened form thu in D. ; while lugha 
appears in the short form of le in W., and toka in the 
same version as te, as alternative. Thus it is possible t'hat 
both Iemingannya and temingannya are right; at all 
events, tbe analogy between lugha, le, and toka, te is 

The word lia means " speedy " (like a spear). 

There remain the words mengha, me, mi. In me, 
mi, -we see the short forms of mena, meaning " I," 
'■ me," or " my ;" but mengha requires further conside- 
ration. It occurs in M., and, when we turn to Milligan's 


Phrases in Ling Roth, we find the explanation. There 
we get, in the first ten Hnes, the fohowing words for 
" give" : — tyenna, teang, teeany. From this we may 
deduce several conjectures. 

If Milligan got those phrases from the same indi- 
vidual, the words were liable to variation at will, within 
certain limits. If he got them from individuals of the 
same tribe, t'here was the same liberty of variation given 
to each speaker. As Milligan published his work in 
1858, he got his information perhaps at second hand, or 
else from the Aboriginals after their banishment from 
the mainland. In the latter case, tien, tian, and tiang 
might represent different dialects. 

The variation of tian and tiang is of a type very 
common in various languages. A man of Flanders is 
in French called Flamand, and in the marshes of 
England, Fleming. An English chamberlain becomes in 
France a chambellan, and at the Vatican a camerlengo ; 
while the Latin minus is in elegant Italian meno, and 
in the popular speech, mingo. 

The next verse of the song is : — 
In M., nena taypa rayna poonyna; 
In D., naina thaipa raina pogana ; 
In W., nyna tepe rena ponnyna. 

Ni-na is common to the three versions, though in 
D. it appears as nena. Ni means thou or you, and the 
different vowel in D. suggests that the dialect of D. 
bears to t'hat of M. and W. — for these seem to be prac- 
tically the same, except in the phonetic rendering — a 
relation analogous to that between Doric and Ionic 
Greek, or between North Britain and South Britain 

Taypa, thaipa and tepe are evidently the same word, 
meaning " come," or, rather " here." Ta means "' stop," 
and is an echo of the " thud " heard when one thing 
strikes against another. In pa or pe we recognise the 
word of denoting " activity ;" pe-na means " spear," the 
symbol of effective activity, and the syllable be or pe 
is characteristic of verbs — i.e., words of activity. 


Rayna, raina, rene we know already. 

Pogana, in D., we know to mean " man." 

Poonyna or ponnyna means " bird," literally active, 
speedy, as ni, like li and ri, means " moving." 

The next line is — 

In M., nena nawra pewillah, pallah nawra pewillah, 

In D., nara para poivella para ; ballahoo ! Hoo ! 

In W., nyna nara pewilly para ; nara pewilly, palla- 

Nena, nyna, we know. Nawra, nara means " he," 
" that one," " the man." 

Pewilla!h, poivella, pewilly, are evidently forms of 
the same word, and are connected in meaning, if not in 
derivation, with pallah, para, pellawah, pallawoo, balla- 
hoo ; all mean " man." 

Ling Roth misprints poivella for powella. 

Pe means " active ;" wila means " wood," therefore 
'.'hard," "tough," "strong;" so that pewila would de- 
note one who was active and capable of resistance, and 
therefore "a man in his strength." Palla is eit'her, as 
we have noted before, " round," and therefore " strong," 
or it is an abbreviation of pewilla — unless, indeed, the 
latter is an enlargement of palla, by the insertion of the 
syllable we, which is akin to pe and be, and means 
" active," and may therefore be used to indicate em- 
phasis. We find such " infixes " frequently in other 
languages, from " induperator " for " imperator " in 
Lucretius, to tihe very modern " In the Sweet (in the 
sweet) By-and-by." 

Thus pallawoo would be just a variant of pawila, 
with the additional emphasis of the final " hoot," which 
is repeated in D. as Hoo ! 

The only remaining word is para, and this is in all 
probability a variant of palla; the interchange of liquid 
consonants, "' 1" and " r," "' m " and " n " is a very 
common phenomena everywhere. For instance, many 
Chinese will pronounce ring as ling. 


Thus we have accounted for every word of the son^ 
— truly, I hope, plausibly at all events. 

We have yet to establish the meaning- of the groups 
— that is, we have to explain the sentences. 

The key to this meaning is contained in the 
" Phrases " quoted by Ling Roth from Milligan and 

In these phrases, we observe that there is no sign 
of any accidence. The words seem invariable in form 
and widely applicable in meaning, as we have already 
seen. The order of the words, supplemented, probably, 
by gestures, would define the exact meaning. 

In this respect, we find an interesting parallel in the 
syntax of the Chinese language. We cannot now enter 
into this subject, except so far as to give a few speci- 

Take the sentence, " I will not give you any water." 

Milligan gives for this : — Noia meahteeang meena 
neeto linah ; literally, " Not me give you stop water." 
In the Chinese Mandarin speech, the sentence would 
be : — Ngo moo ki, ki gni shoey ; literally, " Me not give 
g-ive you water." 

In Milligan, the group mea'hteeang meena is inte- 
resting; it is, taking the roots only, mi tien mi, and 
seems analogous with " he gives," where " he " and the 
final " s " in " gives " have the same meaning. The 
Indirect Object is expressed in dififerent ways. In Tas- 
manian we say " you stop," that is, " my giving stops 
at you." In Chinese, we use the word " give " itself as 
the index of the object to whom any action applies. " I 
■sing to you " would be rendered " me sing, give you " 
(the benefit). 

We may now proceed with our own English version 
of the song in its three forms : — 

M. is literally, — mighty, run, fire, heel, my, speedy, 
foot, my, speedy, thou, come, run. bird, thou, very, great 
man, man, very, great man, hero ! 

In plain English, " With might runs the bush fire ; 
my heel, too, is speedy, and my foot is swift. Come 
thou, and run with the speed of a bird ! Thou art a real 
warrior, a man indeed, a warrior, a hero !" 


D. would be, in plain language, " Lo ! with might 
runs the man ; my heel is swift like fire, my 'heel indeed 
is swift like fire. Come thou and run like a man ; a very 
man, a great man, a man who is a hero ! Hurrah !" 

W. is in meaning a combination of M. and D., thus : 
— " With might runs the fire ; my heel is like fire, my 
foot is like fire ; come thou, run like a bird ; thou art 
indeed a great man ; a man indeed, a great man, a hero ! 
Hurrah !" 

Milligan says that these verses were sung as an ac- 
companiment to a native dance, in honour of a great 

This explanation v/as very helpful in my search after 
the meaning of the song. The rhythm is clearly 
.marked, and the repetitions are very suggestive. 

Walker says that this song was popular among all 
the Aboriginal tribes, but that he had not obtained its 
meaning, as it was by them involved in some mystery. 

The fact that the song exists in different dialects 
makes it most valuable to us. It is quite probable that 
this song was connected with some important tribal 
ceremonies, and would not be willingly explained to 

May it not rather have been fhe " Song,'' 
" The Song of the Mighty One," than a " Popular 
Song " ? 

Davies says, " I cannot translate it, nor, could I do 
so, is the subject very select?" 

This presents a charming specimen of sly humour. 
See how neatly he escapes any inquiry as to the mean- 
ing of the song, by suggesting t'hat it would not be quite 
proper to speak of such things in polite society ! 

We, at all events," have avoided any impropriety in 
our rendering, and seem to have reconstructed one 
scene of the lite of Old Tasmania; in imagination 
chiefly, and wit'h a due sense of the defectiveness of our 
knowledge ; but still, in the hope that we have found 
the way that will, in time and after arduous and sympa- 
thetic efforts, enable us to hear once more " The sound 
of a voice that is still." 









Printed at " The Examiner" Office, Patterson Street, Ivaunceston. 



The Council of the Royal Society have the honour to present their 
Report for 1908 to the Annual General Meeting of the Society. 

Nine Monthly General Meetings and one Special General Meeting 
were held during the year. Eleven Ordinary Meetings and four Special 
Meetings of the Council were held during the same period. 

Twenty-seven Fellows and three Associates were elected, and 
fifteen Fellows allowed their membership to lapse during the same 
period, and the deaths of three Fellows were recorded. 

Three vacancies in the Council occurred throug^h the retirement of 
Mr. A. G. Webster, Colonel Legge; and the Right Rev. Dr. Mercer 
(Bishop of Tasmania), and were respectively filled by the election of 
Dr. Noetling, Mr. E. L. Piesse, and Mr. A. D. Watchorn. 

On the retirement of Mr. Webster, who had been a member of the 
Council for thirty-nine years, and Chairman of the Council for some 
years past, the Council expressed their appreciation of the services 
rendered by him during his long connection with the Society. 

At a Special General Meeting on November 25, 1908, an amendment 
of -Rule 16 was adopted, to the effect that the annual subscription should 
be reduced to £1 in the case of Fellows resident more than fifteen 
miles from Hobart. 

The following papers were read during the Session of 1908: — 

Notes on a Chipped Boulder from near Kempton. by Fritz Noet- 
ling, M.A., Ph.D. 

On State Borrowing and Sinking Funds for the Redemption of 
State Debts regarded from an Economical Point of View, by R. M. 
Johnston, F.L.S., I.S.O. 


On a Recent Visit to the River Gordon, illustrated by lantern slides, 
with remarks on the need of reservation of land along the banks of 
the River, by J. W. Beattie. 

On the Native Quarry at Syndal, near Ross, by Fritz Noetling, 
M.A., Ph.D. 

On a Native Burial Ground at Charlton, near Ross, by Fritz Noet- 
ling, M.A., Ph.D. 

Additions to the Tasmanian Molluscan Fauna, by W. L. May. 

The Aboriginal Designations for Stone Implements, by Fritz Noet- 
ling, M.A., Ph.D. 

On the conclusions of Dr. Noetling respecting the Aboriginal 
Designations of Stone Implements, by Hermann B. Ritz, M.A. 

An Introduction to the Study of tlie Aboriginal Speech of Tas- 
mania, by Hermann B. Ritz, M.A. 

Considerable time and attention vi^ere given by the Council to the 
questions of the printing oif the Society's Papers and Proceedings, and 
of the avoidance of the long delays that have occurred for some years 
past in the publication of authors' papers. The negotiations were 
finally concluded for the necessary printing, and authors' copies of all 
papers read before the Society have now been published and distributed. 

The Society is under obligations to a Committee of Fellows, who 
investigated the contents of the Library, and set apart a number of 
duplicates and miscellaneous publications unconnected with the objects 
of the Royal Society, so that they should be available for exchange or 

A Balance-sheet, duly audited, showing the receipts and expenditure 
for 1908, is appended. 






















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The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Society of Tasmania 
was held in the Society's rooms, Museum, on Friday, 5th March, 1909. 
In the absence of the President (His Excellenc}' the Governor, Sir 
Gerald Strickland), Mr. Bernard Shaw, on tlie motion of Mr. T. 
Stephens, seconded by Dr. Butler, was voted to the chair. A fair 
number 'of Fellows were present. 


There being no other nominations, the retiring members of the 
Council for the year. Dr. Elkington and Dr. Butler, and Messrs. E. L. 
Piesse and A. D. Watchorn, were re-elected. 


The following gentlemen were elected as Fellows of the Society: — 
Messrs. T. M. Donovan, L.R.C.S., J. D. Miller, H. M. Sich, and W. E. 


The x\nnual Report for 1908 was read by the Secretary to the 

The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the Report and Balance- 
sheet, said, in reference to the Committee of Fellows who had investi- 
gated the Society's library, that their work had been carried out in a 
most thorough manner, and the proceeds derived from the sale of books 
would go towards the purchase of new works. 

In seconding the motion, Mr. T. Stephens said that the members 
of the Council who had drafted the Annual Report had been unable to 
gain any information about the Honorary and Corresponding Members 
of the Society at the present time. The latest particulars that they iiad 
been able to discover were in the Annual Report for 1891. It ap- 
peared from the records that at the Annual Meeting of 1902 it was 
resolved that the list of Fellows and Members should be annuallj^ pub- 
lished, in accordance with the original practice, but no trace of such 
publication has yet been discovered. In reference to the balance-sheet, 
which had been compiled with great care by their Honorary Treasurer, 
Mr. Shaw, he (Mr. Stephens) might say that, if there should be a mode- 
rate increase in the number of Fellows, and nothing extravagant was 
done in the way of printing, there was a fair prospect of the possibility 
of making a general reduction in the amount of the annual subscription 
at the end of the current year. 

The motion was put to the vote and carried. 



The Report of the Medical Section was received, and read. It dealt 
with the progress -of the medical branch during the year, and stated 
that its establishment had gone a long way towards creating a feeling 
of harmony in the medical ranks. Its popularity was evinced by the 
ever-increasing membership. Several new works had been added to the 
library, bringing it up to a most efficient stage. The ordinary meetings 
had all been well attended, and the members one and all evinced great 
interest in the Society. 

On the motion of Mr. Stephens, it was resolved, " That the usual 
grant of £12 to the Medical Section of the Society for. the purchase of 
medical works be continued for the current year." 

Mr. Echlin was re-appointed Auditor, and the meeting closed. 





* Fellows who have contributed Papers read before the Society. 

t Life Members. 

The Addresses of Members residing in Hobart are omitted. 


AGNEW, L. E., MRS.- 
ALLWORK, F.. L.S.A.. New Norfolk. 
ANDERSON, G. M., M.B., CM., Franklin. 

tBARING, REV. F. H., Orford. 







BUTLER, ARTHUR, Lower Sandy Bay. 








BOBBIE, EDWARD D., Sandy Bay. 


ERNST-CARROLL, F. J., M.Sc, Neuchatel, Switzerland 



tGRANT, C. W. 



GOULD, ROBERT, Longford. 
*GREEN, A. O., Bellerive. 


HARRISON, E. J., Bellerive. 




HOGG, G. PL, M.D., Launceston. 


IRELAND, E. W. J., M.B., CM. 

*JOHNSON, J. A.. A/[.A. 


KNIGHT, H. W., Sandy Bay. 

*LEGGE, VINCENT W., COL., R.A., Cullenswood. 

New Town. 
LINES, D. H. E., M.B. 
LODDER. MISS M., St. Helen's. 
LORD, F. W. 


tMITCHELL, J. G., Jericho. 
*MAY, W. L., Sandford. 

tM'CLYMONT, J., Queenborough. 



MACGOWAN, E. T., M.B., B.S. 
-••=MACLEOD, P. J., B.A. 

*NOETLING, FRITZ, M.A., Ph.D., Sandy Bay. 


PARKER, A. C., New Town. 

*PIESSE, E. L.. B.Sc, LL.B.. New Town. 


*PETTERD, W. F., C.M.Z.S., Launceston. 


REID, A. R. 
*RITZ, PI. B., M.A. 


tSTICHT, ROBERT, Queenstown. 

SCOTT, H. H., Launceston. 


SHAW, BERNARD, I.S.O., Sandy Bay. 

*SIMSON, AUGUSTUS, Launceston. 


TARLETON, JOHN W., Sandy Bay. 

*TWELVETREES, W. H., F.G.S.. Launceston. 





*WHITE, O. E. 



WISE, H. J. 





Papers and Proceedings 







^S^^!^^ \\;\\son I an J ns tit, 

t'^s^^-^.^^'V^^ ■ ..^"^^ 

3^ona\ Muse*' . 


Printed at " 'I'he Kxamiuer '' and " Wf ekly Courier" Ofncca 
73-75 Patterson Street, Lauuceston. 

Papers and Proceedings 









Printed at "Mi.' Kxamiuer" aud "Weekly Courier" Ofticcs 
7^-75 Patterson Stret't. Ivauncest 

The responsibility of the statements and opinions 
given in the following Papers and Discussions 
rests with the individual authors or speakers ; 
the Society merely places them on record. 

Royal Society of Tasmania, 


Patron : 


PrpBtJi:ent : 


K.C.M.G., Succeeded by 



Birp-Prpst&f ntH : 



(Emtttiil : 





HON. G. H. BUTLER, M.R.C.S., M.L.C. 



J. S. C. ELKINGTON, M.D. ;. 


E. L. PIESSE, B.Sc, LL.B. 



(EI|atnnct« nf tin? QIn«nril 


^^rrrtarg in tin? fflo««rtl 


Aitiixtnr : 


Order of retirement from the Council in 1911 ;— Messrs G U. B. Mocie, 
T. Stephens, B-rnard Shaw, Dr. Sprt i 


-Aboi-igines of Tasmania — Page. 

Use of Red Ochre (F. Noetling) v. 

A Group of Tronattas (F. Noetling) v. 

Rocks used in Manufacture of Tronattas (F. Noet- 
ling) vii. 

Names for Minerals and Rocks (F. Noetling) .... ix. 

Speech of the Aborigines (H. Ritz) vi. 

Annual Meeting 191 


Barron, Sir Harry, K.C.M.G., C.V.O., acceptance of ofBce 

as President xi. 

Botanists, Records of Tasmanian (J. H. Maiden) v. 

Brachycome melanocarpa (L. Rodway) x. 


■Conversazione, Amendment of Rules to provide for . . . . viii. 


Derwent Valley Railway Extension, Geological Notes on 

(T. Stephens) xii. 

Flynn, T. T., Points in the Morphology and Anatomy of 

certain Megapodes xii. 

Fossil Tree in Drift on North-West Coast (T. Stephens) vii. 


Glacial Action in Derwent Valley xii. 

Glacial Beds at Freestone BlufT, Wynyard (F. Noetling). . xi. 

Graphite, Specimen from River Kermandie x. 


McAulay, A., Applications of Multenions to Metageonietry viii. 

Maiden, J. H., Records of Tasmanian Botanists v. 

Megapodes, Points in Morphology and Anatomy of (T. 

Thomson Flynn) xii. 

Minerals of Tasmania (W. F. Petterd) vi. 

Multenions, A. McAulay on Applications to Metageometry viii. 


Nectria cinnibarina, a specimen exhibited viii. 

Noetling, F. — 

A Peculiar Group of Tronattas v. 

Red Ochre and its uses by Aborigines of Tasmania . . v. 

Rocks used in Manufacture of Tronattas vii. 

Names given to Minerals and Rocks bj^ Aborigines of 

Tasmania ix. 

Glacial Beds at Freestone Blufif, Wynyard xi. 

CONTENTS.— Continued. 


Ochre, Red, its uses by the Aborigines of Tasmania (F. 

Noetling) v. 

Onagraceae, Tasmanian (L. RodAvay) • vi. 


Petterd, W. F., The Minerals of Tasmania vi. 

Pre-Cambrian Rocks of Tasmania (L. K. Wara) ix. 

President's Address i., v. 

Report for igog igr 

Rodway, L. — 

Tasmanian Onagraceae vi. 

Notes on Brachycome melanocarpa x. 

Rule 44 Amended viii. 


Shackleton, Sir Ernest, elected an Honorary Member . . vii. 
Stephens, T.— 

Fossil Tree embedded in Drift on North-West Coast vii. 

Geological Notes on Countrj^ traversed by Derwent 

Valley Railway Extension xii. 

Strickland. Sir Gerald, Address as President i., v. 


Tronattas, a Peculiar Group of (F. Noetling) y. 

Tronattas, Rocks used in Manufacture of (F. Noetling).. vii., 


Ward, L. K., on the Pre-Cambrian Rocks of Tasmania . . ix.. 


1. Records of Tasmanian Botanists, by J. H. Maiden, 

F.L-S. (Corresponding Member) 9 

2.. A peculiar Group of Tronattas, by Fritz Noetling, 

M.A., Ph.D .1 

3. Red Ochre and its use by the Aborigines of Tasmania, 

by Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D 30 

4. Tasmanian Onagraceae, by L. Rodway 39 

.5. The Speech of the Tasmanian Aborigines, by Plermann 

B. Ritz, M.A 44 

6. Notes on the Occurrence of a Fossil Tree embedded 

in Drift on the North- West Coast of Tasmania, by 

T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S 82 

7. Rocks Used in the Manufacture of Tronattas, by Fritz 

Noetling, M.A., Ph.D 85 

8. Notes on the Names given to Minerals and Rocks by 

the Aborigines of Tasmania, by Fritz Noetling, 
M.A., Ph.D 103 

9. A Contribution to the Geology of Tasmania — The Pre- 

Cambnan Rocks — by L. Keith Ward, B.A., B.E... 124 

10. Note on Brachycome melanocarpa, Sonder, by L. 

Rodway 123 

11. Notes on the Glacial Beds at Freestone Blufif, Sandy 

Cove, near Wjmyard, by Fritz Noetling, M.A., 
Ph.D " 157 

12. Geological Notes on the Country traversed by the Der- 

went Valley Railway Extension, by T. Stephens, 
M.A., F.G.S 170 

13. Points in the Anatomy of Certain Megapodes, by T. 

Thomson Flynn, B.Sc 175 

Sngal S^0rirtg nf ©asmania. 


APRIL, 1909. 

The General Meeting of the Society was postponed for at 

MAY 3, 1909. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at the 
Museum on Monday evening. May 3, 1909. 

His Excellency the Governor, Sir Gerald Strickland, 
K.C.M.G. (President) in the chair. 

In attendance on Plis Excellency were Sir Charles Lucas,. 
K.C.M.G.. and Hon. A. A. Pearson, C.M.G., Dominions De- 
partment, Colonial Office, Downing-street, London. 


The President appointed Messrs. T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S.,. 
and R. M. Johnston, F.L.S., I.S.O., Vice-Presidents of the 
Society for the current year. 


Messrs. A. E. Blackman, F. E. Burbury, W. Burn, W. F. D. 
Butler, M.Sc, S. P. Crisp, A. R. P. Cross, T. T. Flynn. B.Sc, 
A. V. Giblin, W. S. Lake, M.Sc, E. M. Law, M. W. Simmons,, 
C. E. Toovey, and L. K. Ward, B.A., B.E., were elected Fellows 
of the Society. 


The President delivered the following address: — 

" In consequence of my absence from Tasmania on leave, a 
period of two years is under review, but it is remarkably devoid 
of great and startling discoveries. The scientific periodicals are, 
however, full of evidence of steady progress in the improvement 
of previous inventions. 

The Wright Brothers achieved mechanical flight several 
years ago. The President of the French Republic has recently 
expressed his regret that the invention of a Frenchman, wha 
was really the first to make a machine f\y. had been offered to 
the War Office, successfully tested, and officially rejected. In 
the present year flying machines are being made by the hundred,, 
and they have become a substantial factor in plans of military 
ofifence and defence. But, so far, only daring and highly-trained 
experts can navigate them, and the difticulties of starting and 

alighting make them as 3'et unsuitable for purposes of explora- 
tion. They are also unable to carry any considerable weight. 
On the other hand, the dirigible* balloon has been brought to 
such a degree of perfection that the carrying of a dozen men 
and several tons of stores is merely a question of money. 

When it is remembered that the unexplored portion of 
Tasmania is ver}^ large, that the mineral belt which probably 
contains many a mine of the value of Lyell or Bischoff is most 
■difficult of access by land, I feel the time is approaching when 
an enterprising Government may seriously consider the hiring 
of a dirigible balloon to carry out preliminary aerial surveys, 
and facilitate and encourage the subsequent work of prospectors 
following the ordinary methods. 

At the time of my last address to this Society, scientific men 
were justified in laughing at wireless telephony as the objective 
of visionaries; but the rapid achievements in practice of wire- 
less telephony are already astounding. The human voice has 
■been audibly transmitted without wires a distance of 260 miles. 
With regard to wireless telegraphy, there have been great im- 
provements, of which the most remarkable is the development 
of automatic transmission up to the speed of 120 words a minute. 
With regard to land telegraphs, the operation of a line without 
repetition has been extended over 7,000 miles. Less than a year 
ago serious people were laughing at Mr. Heniiiker Heaton's 
advocacy of telegrams at a penny a word, but now, by direct 
overland transmission to Southern Asia, and by wireless trans- 
mission thence to the shores of Australia, the possibility of 
penny-a-word telegrams, or, at least, of telegrams at greatly 
reduced rates, has been brought within the range of practical 

With regard to shipping, when I last addressed you the 
Mauretania and the Lusitania. which have fulfilled all expecta- 
tions, were considered' marvellous for their size, as Avell as for 
their speed, but already ships of nearly twice their size are being 
built. These larger ships do not aim at a speed much above 20 
knots, but it is probable that their size will ofifer immunity from 
sea sickness and a great reduction in the cost of luxurious 
trans-Atlantic travelling. They; are being built with English 
capital, and will probably be propelled by an economical com- 
bination of high-pressure reciprocating engines and low-pres- 
sure turbines. 

This line of development is important to Tasmania. The 
most enterprising shipowners have already given a warning to 
Melbourne and Sydney that much work will have to be done to 
their water-ways before really large vessels can be built for the 
Australian trade. 

Long before any other Australian port is fit to receive 
them, 40,000-ton vessels may be built, able to come to Australia 
at 20 knots by the Cape, and if the passenger traftic should 
warrant the experiment, Hobart may expect to enjoy its natural 
claims to be the port of transhipment and coaling for the Com- 
monwealth terminus. 

The providing of mechanical aids for the rapid coaling of 
vessels has received successful attention at Fremantle, Western 

Australia, as well as in South Africa and Japan. Even under 
present conditions there are vessels leaving Melboui^ne that 
could profitably be loaded down two or three feet if the depth 
■of water allowed. If sufficient capital were expended to provide 
facilities for the rapid and cheap mechanical coaling of such 
vessels in Hobart, Tasmanians might obtain work and profits in 
return for the depth of water in the Derwent. 

Another practical achievement tending to lower freights in 
the future has been the successful test of the internal combus- 
tion engine, worked with producer gas on a scale suitable for 
ocean-going" vessels. This invention is more remarkable for the 
great economy in wages of stokers, trimmers, and engineers 
than in the already well-known economy in fuel obtainable by 
using producer gas. Nevertheless some years must elapse before 
this system is adopted commercially to any great extent. It is 
suggested that the gas engines running at high velocity in one 
direction should produce electricity to be redeveloped by motors, 
reversible and adjustable, operating propellors at an eflicient 
rate of revolution. 

The control of water resources for the purpose of generat- 
ing power and of irrigation is receiving all over the world the 
keen attention of sagacious men, eager to appropriate unearned 
increments now going to waste. 

In countries long settled and thickly populated, riparian 
rights, catchment areas, and land values complicate and impede 
this line of progress. In a new country, rapidly developing, and 
gifted with high tablelands and ample rainfall, such as this State 
of ours, the sooner the level of lakes is raised, and new lakes 
are created by damming rivers, the better for the future pros- 
pects of large manufacturing development created by the appli- 
tion of water power. 

Another possibility of the regulation of water for irrigation 
purposes may be illustrated by reference to the Derwent. If 
this river were provided vi^ith a lock this side of Bridgewater, 
steamers could pass freely, while the salt water would be pre- 
vented from contaminating many miles of river bank, along 
which fresh-water irrigation would become available. 

With reference to minerals, the transmutation of metals has 
been achieved, or at least there is very weighty scientific autho- 
rity for this assertion. Rubies and sapphires have been manu- 
factured on a commercial scale in absolute equality with the 
natural stones as regards chemical composition, and mechanical 
tests of hardness and of refraction of light. 

But it is still cheaper to mine silver than to produce it by 
transmutation from copper, and Tasmanian miners need have no 
anxiety by reason of this great discovery, even if it be all that 
is asserted of it. Sapphires are found in Tasmania; they are 
distinguished from manufactured sapphires by showing flaws 
and other defects, well known to those who possess genuine 
stones. The manufactured sapphire has the peculiar fault of 
being absolutely uniform and flawless. Tasmanian copper may 
suft'er from the great development of aluminium, which is now 
being produced so cheaply that it has become, for a given price, 
a much cheaper conductor of electricity than copper. 

The art of extracting minerals from refractory ores is mak- 
ing rapid progress. It is always an open question whether scien-- 
tific results obtained in the laboratory, even on a very large 
scale, will prove commercially practical in the immediate future. 
Nevertheless, it may be taken for certain that, in a future not 
very remote, the success of the laboratory experiment will be- 
come the success of the enterprising capitalist, and I look for- 
ward with confidence to the fixture of the vast low-grade pro- 
positions on the west of Tasmania. 

This Society has done much to draw attention to the need 
for the scientific regulation of forestry, and the economic intro- 
duction of rapid-growing timber from the Northern Hemi- 
sphere. I have taken an active interest in this movement, and 
I am glad to be able to congratulate Tasmania that at last the 
Government has made a satisfactory beginning in the direction 
of one of the most profitable and most necessary of State indus- 
tries, namely, forestry, in a country where the State alone can 
at present be tempted to this form of investment at moderate 
compound interest. 

The principal feature vs'ith regard to transportation on land 
is the rapid conversion of railroads from steam to electric trac- 
tion. It is safe to say that in this line mechanical and technical 
difficulties have been overcome; it is only a question of having 
sufficient traffic to justify conversion financially. Sooner or later 
this day will come for Tasmania. It behoves the representatives 
of the people to guard against any wasteful alienation of the 
water power now belonging to the State. The running of a train 
on a monorail evoked widespread interest, but the risks and 
complications involved prevent its being a competitor with 
narrow gauge lines for the commercial handling of ordinary 
goods traffic. 

The great interest taken by the Australian Government, 
and by Australian explorers, in the recent successful Antarctic 
expedition, recalls to mind that Sir John Franklin was the 
founder and first president of this Society. Meetings were then 
held at the old Government House, where Franklin Square and 
the Public Buildings now are. It has often been said that the 
value of the old site to-day more than covers the cost of the 
present Governor's establishment. 

The Government Statistician, ^Ir. Robert ^lackenzie John- 
ston, was deputed by us last year to represent Tasmania at the 
foundation of the celebration, in London, of the one hundredth 
anniversary of the Royal Geographical Society. The records 
of this Society contain a series of most valuable papers on 
geology, including the extensive and brilliant contributions of 
Mr. Johnston, who has also read papers on economic and statis- 
tical questions, of exceptional originality and worth. This feads 
one to express a hope that the Royal Society of Tasmania will 
continue to welcome papers on an ever-increasing variety of 
scientific subjects, and aspire more and more to the breadth of 
view of its great founder. 

The opportunities before this Society are very promising; 
there is a yearning in a community such as this for a common 
meeting-ground l'f)r men of culture, who are devoted to study 
and research, and for those anxious to elevate their knowledge; 

it is to these that the Royal Society of Tasmania can offer 
golden opportunities for the free exchange of ideas, for mutual 
assistance, and for the publication of original discoveries. 

Nowadays, science advances with increasing rapidity, and 
the newly-discovered specialist should always be heartily wel- 
comed, and never discouraged. May the future of the Royal' 
Society be evei^ marked with the cordiality and friendship be- 
ween members, which have added joy to my term of ofifice; may 
its govetning body be progressive and on the alert to move 
with the growing demands of learning; may added membership 
and renewed energy make this an attractive centre to men of 
genius and men of leisure, to the hard-worked official, and to 
the rising amateur, and may the splendid work accomplished by 
the establishment of these useful rooms, of this noble museum,, 
and of this valuable library, be an incentive to yet more success- 
ful eft'orts." 


(i) Records of Tasmanian Botanists. By J. H. Maiden, 
F.L.S., Director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney. (Correspond- 
ing Member.) 

This paper is part of a series of records relating to the several; 
States of the Commonwealth, most of which have been already 
published, and is especially interesting as giving an account of 
the life and work of Mr. Ronald Gunn, the father of Tasmanian 
Botany. In addition to the memoirs of local botanists, the 
paper also contains notes of the work in Tasmania of men who 
are more properly styled Australian Botanists, among whom 
may be mentioned Labillardiere, Robert Brown, Backhouse, and 
Von Mueller. 

(2) A peculiar group of Tronattas. By Fritz Noetling, M.A., 
Ph.D., etc. 

In reference to the stone implements of the Aborigines of 
Tasmania, the " tronattas,"' the author remarks that they repre- 
sent the typical archaeolithic stage somewhat modified, as noted 
in his first paper on the subject. Comparing them with a large 
collection of European specimens, he concludes that they re- 
present the highest stage of the archaeolithic civilisation. The 
group of implements forming the subject of the papers and the 
mode of construction, are described in minute detail, and they 
are compared with European specimens. 

(,3) Red Ochre and its uses by the Aborigines of Tasmania. 
By Fritz Noetling. M.A., Ph.D.. etc. 

The author points out that the early records prove that the 
males smeared hair and beard with a mixture of red ochre and 
grease, and that he had found pieces of red iron ore at their 
camping grounds. He enumerates from different vocabularies 
the terms used in describing the process, and concludes that it 
was an exclusive male adornment. 

JUNE 14, 1909. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at the 
Museum on Monday evening, June 14, 1909. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw, I.S.O., in the chair. 


Messrs. K. Norman, LL.B., J. Black, N. K. Ewing, LL.B,. 
A. Pedder, and A. Wertheimer, were elected Fellows of the 


(i) The Minerals of Tasmania. By W. F. Petterd, C.M.Z.S. 

Dr. Noetling remarked that the paper was not one that could 
be dealt with in detail, but it would furnish ample material for 
interesting discussion after being printed, and the Society Avas 
deeply indebted to Mr. Petterd for contributing so valuable a 
■paper to its records. 

(2) Tasmanian Onagraceae. By L. Rodway, Government 

The author notes the circumstance that only two genera of 
the family, Oenothera and Epilobium, are represented in Tas- 
mania, and of the former only one species, which was found by 
Ronald Gunn near Marlborough in 1841. Pie describes the 
characteristic features of this plant, and of the six species of 
Epilobium, and compares them with their representatives else- 

(3) The Speech of the Tasmanian x\borigines. By Hermann 
-B. Ritz, M.A. 

The author says that from a careful examination of the 
words and practically all the connected phrases recorded, the 
Tasmanian language represents the most primitive form of 
articulate speech, and he concludes that essentially there were 
only two ideas expressed by the Tasmanian language, viz., rest 
and motion. On this basis the whole vocabulary was probably- 
constructed — except perhaps the purely onomato-poetic sounds 
— either directly or with the aid of simple metaphors. Some 600 
words are quoted in support of this view, want of space and 
time alone hindering the adduction of at least twice as many 
additional examples. 

After the reading of this paper, through the courtesy of Mr. 
Horace Watson there were given on the phonograph specimens 
of the songs of the Aborigines sung into the instrument by the 
late Mrs. Fanny Smith, a half-caste born and bred up at the 
Settlement on Flinders Island among the Tasmanian Aborigines. 

JULY 12, 1909. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at the 
Museum on Monday evening, July 12, 1909. 

Sir John S. Dodds, K.C.M.G., Lieutenant-Governor, in the 


Messrs. H. R. Hutchison and G. Weindorfer were elected 
Fellows of the Society. 


On the recommendation of the Council Lieutenant (now Sir- 
Ernest) Shackleton was elected an Honorary Member of the.- 

'Mv. Stephens said that the office of Honorary Member was. 
restricted by their rules to persons not resident in Tasmania 
who had distinguished themselves as promoters o^' the objects 
of the Society and other kindred institutions, and the Council; 
were gratified on learning from the leader* of the recent Ant- 
arctic exploration that it would give him great pleasure to be ■ 
associated with an institution founded by Sir John Franklin. 


( i) Notes on the occurrence of a Fossil Tree embedded in 
Drift on the North-West Coast of Tasmania. By T. Stephens, 
MZ\., F.G.S. 

The author describes the locality as being about half-a-mile 
east of the glacial drift previously describea as occupying the 
coast line between Woody Hill and Table Cape, and states that 
further exploration would be required before the true relations , 
of this comparatively recent drift and the moraine matter farther- 
to the west could be positively determined. Specimens of the ■ 
fossil Avood, and of the drift in which it was embedded, were 
laid on the table for the inspection of Fellows. 

My. R. ]\I. Johnston, in the course of the discussion which 
followed, said that no other part of the world that he knew of 
was so rich in the fossil remains of forests of past ages as Tas- 

Dr. Noetling; spoke of the opalised specimens of fossilised 
wood, mentioning remarkable instances he had observed in 

(2) Rocks used in the manufacture of Tronattas. By Fritz 
Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 

The observations recorded in this paper are based on the 
examination of more than 5,000 tronattas, but as the important 
microscopical examination is still outstanding", the results are 
considered as preliminary^ only. Four classes of rocks only 
were used in the manufacture, viz.. Chert or Hornstone, Porcel- 
lanite. Breccia, and other silicious rocks such as Chalcedony, , 
Wood-Opal, Fossil Wood, Quartz. Volcanic rocks were never 
used except as hammerstones. Each class of rock is separately ■ 
described, and a large number of observations regarding the 
specific gravity were made. The hornstone is the heaviest of ' 
ail, having an average spec. grav. of 2.678, and it could be 
proved that 56.6 per cent, of the tronattas have a spec. grav. 
above 2.600; that is to say, the Tasmanian stone implement is 
considerably heavier than those found in Europe. A table of 
frequency shows that on the average tronattas were made of 
hornstone from 78.35 per cent., porcellanite following next with 

«l.93 per cent., while breccia and others form 4.78 per cent, and 
4.91 per cent, respectively. 

Mr. R. AI. Johnston emphasised the immense amount of 
trouble that Dr. Noetling must have taken in preparing such 
voluminous notes. His admirable classification of the Tas- 
nianian rocks used by' the Aborigines would be most valuable 
to members of the Society and students generally. The Society 
was much indebted to Dr. Noetling. 


Mr. L. Rodwajr exhibited a branch of a black currant tree, 
which carried the winter spores of a destructive disease to black 
curr?nt and gooseberry trees, called Nectria cinnibarina. The 
spores were distinctly visible. The summer spore, he said, is 
called Tuberculana vulgaris, and appears in ochre-like nodules, 
whilst the winter spore is in the form of bright red sacs. 

AUGUST 9, 1909. 

A special General Meeting of the Society was held, after due 
notice, at the Museum on Monday evening, August 9, 1909. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw, I.S.O., in the chair. 

The Chairman stated that the meeting had been convened to 
consider a recommendation from the Council that the last para- 
graph of Rule 44 should be repealed, and explained that the 
object of the proposed alteration of thef rules was that in the 
interval between the courses of the ordinary Monthly Meetings 
of the Society an informal meeting or conversazione should be 
held, attended by the Fellows and their friends, at which His 
Excellency the President should be invited to address them on 
any matters connected with the objects of the Society. 

The motion for repeal was carried on the voices. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was then held. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw, I.S.O., in the chair. 


Messrs. Claud Clerk and E. H. Pearce, and Airs. R. W. 
Fereday were electee^ Fellows of the Society. 


(i) On the applications of Multenions to Metagcometry. By 
Professor Alex. McAulay, M.A. 

In the absence of Professor McAulay, Mr. E. L. Piesse gave 
a concise explanation of the purport of this paper, and said that 
the researches in Alultenions were a development of his previous 
work on Quaternions and Octonions. The properties of AIul- 
tenions were first described by Professor McAulay in a paper 
read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1907-8, entitled 
"Algebra after Hamilton, or Multenions."' The present paper 
described the application of Alultenions to non-Euclidean 

Owing to the difficulty of printing some of the mathematical 
characters used, it has not been possible to publish the paper 
in the Proceedings of the Societv. 

(2) Notes on the Names given to Minerals and Rocks by 
:the Aborigines of Tasmania. By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., 

Tlie author gives an elaborate description of all the sub- 
stances of the nature of rocks that were known to or used by 
the Aborigines, with a comparison of the various terms applied 
to them by the several tribes, and the meaning of such terms. 
He concludes by calling attention to the progress of the human 
race since archaeolithic times, as exemplified by the thousands 
of names by which modern science distinguishes the minerals 
and rocks found on our earth. 

SEPTEMBER 13, 1909. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Monday evening, September 13. 1909. 

Mr. Bernard Shaw, I.S.O., in the chair. 


Mr. Russell Young, jun., was elected a Fellow of the Society. 


(i) A Contribution to the Geology of Tasmania — Systematic 
Geology— The Pre-Cambrian. By L. Keith Ward, B.A., B.E. 

The main object of the paper is to present a succinct ac- 
■count of the recent advances in the knowledge of the oldest 
rocks developed in Tasmania, their stratigraphical relationships, 
■and their present physiographical features and distribution. The 
evidence upon which a Pre-Cambrian age has been assigned to 
the group is discussed. Some account of the lithological cha- 
racters of the altered sediments is given, but the description of 
the igneous members of the series awaits further more detailed 
examination. The author notes the probability of the existence 
of two different horizons, the upper of which shows a greater 
freedom from contortion than does the lower, the two horizons 
being separated by an unconformity. A brief account is given 
of the probable origin, growth, and decay of the Pre-Cambrian 
rocks. The distribution of the rocks is -indicated by an outline 
map, with a short description of the known boundaries of the 
areas in which these rocks outcrop. The nomenclature of Pre- 
Cambrian rocks in extra-Australian areas is discussed, and it is 
shown that the Tasmanian series belong to the Algonkian divi- 
sion, although no more definite classification is justifiable. 

Dr. Noetling said that the paper was a valuable contribution 
to the literature of Tasmanian geology. All the rocks found on 
the surface of the earth were divided into two periods — those 
which had no fossil remains of creatures, and which were the 
earlier rocks, and those which contained such remains, and 
these two groups were again subdivided into different periods. 
The Pre-Cambrian rocks belonged to that earlier period in 
which there was no trace of life, and which must represent mil- 
lions of years. When life first originated on the earth was not 
yet decided. Mr. Ward dealt with the structural features of the 

Pre-Cambriaii system. Those rocks had a thickness of two- 
miles. What enormous eras of time it must have taken to de- 
posit such a depth of rock! Mr. Ward was inchned to think 
that the present natural features of Tasmania were ah'eady out- 
lined in the deposits of those Pre-Cambrian rocks. He (Dr. 
Noetling) thought that was i-ather a bold theory. Mr. Ward- 
had taken a great deal of trouble in describing these rocks. 

]\Ir. R. M. Johnston, I.S.O., enlarged on the paper, and' 
stated that it was a very valuable one. It was believed that life 
existed on the earth prior to' the Cambrian period, though we 
had no trace of it. The speaker dwelt on the very interesting- 
enquir}^ of what has been the sequence of life on this earth. 

Mr. T. Stephens said that Mr. Ward's paper was a valuable 
contribution to the geological literature not only\ of Tasmania 
but of the whole Commonwealth, but it could only be discussed 
in detail by those v/ho had some personal knowledge of the 
country described. Mr. Ward remarks that the term Pre-Cam- 
brian is merely a temporary title, and that it is probable that 
these rocks will eventually have to be subdivided into a number 
of separate systems as in North America. As an instance of 
one of the rocks specially mentioned in the paper, he called' 
attention to the block of schistose conglomerate from Goat 
Island, near Ulverstone, now on the table, which he had placed 
in the Museum some two years ago, and which showed quartz- 
pebbles drawn out and twisted under intense pressure. Mr. 
Stephens added that Mr. Ward's remarks to the effect that the 
diabase capping of most of the mountains of Tasmania was 
once more widely distributed, and that "' it postulates a cover 
of sedimentary rocks since removed by sub-aerial denudation," 
will be welcomed by those who support the theory put forward 
b\' himself in 1892. 

Mr. Lyndhurst Giblin moved that the aiscussion of the paper- 
be adjourned until it had been printed, and after some debate 
the motion was carried. 

(2) Notes on Brachycome melanocarpa, Sonder. Bj^ L. 
Rod way. 

The author describes this daisy, specimens of which were 
placed on the table, and remarks that he had found it on the 
eastern slopes of Mount Wellington. It had been found on the- 
mainland, but not previously in Tasmania. 


Air. T. Stephens drew attention to a specimen of the fruit of 
the Baobab tree, from the River Limpopo. South Africa, pre- 
sented to the Museum by Miss Beatrice Adams. He said that 
the Baobab tree was in girth the largest tree in the world, rang- 
ing from 20 to 30 feet in diameter, but not lofty. The pulp of 
the fruit was used for various medicinal purposes. 

He also exhibited specimens of a black shaly rock contain- 
ing graphite, which occurred in the bed of the River Kermandie, 
beyond Ge'eveston, and had been forwarded by Mr. James 
Thompson, of Hospital Bay. Whether it was pure enough to. 
be of any commercial value has not yet been ascertained. 

Rev. A. H. Mitchell exhibited a pebble of chalcedony with 
■one side polished, and showing beautiful concentric rings. It 
was found at Bellerive. 

OCTOBER i8, 1909. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
■the Museum on Monday evening, October 14, 1909. 

Mr. R. M. Johnston, F.L.S., I.S.O., in the chair. 

Mr. T. Stephens (V.P.) reported that, in response to an in- 
vitation from the Council, His Excellency the Governor (Sir 
Harry Barron) had informed them that it would give him great 
pleasure to assume the office of President of the Royal Society. 


Notes on the Glacial Beds of Freestone Bluff, near Wyn- 
jard. By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 

The author gives a historical summary of the papers which 
Jiad been previously written on this interesting and; important 
subject, and describes in detail the glacial drift and the fossil- 
iferous sandstone of Freestone Bluff, with remarks on the basalt 
■capping which overlies the latter. Attention is called to the 
intermingling of what appear to be portions of the glacial drift 
with the fossiliferous sandstone, evidence of which is shown by 
Plates illustrating the lowermost strata of Frtiestone Bluff. The 
general conclusion arrived at is that there is no sufficient evi- 
'dence to prove that the glacial drift was deposited at or near 
the base of the Permo-Carboniferous series, and that it really 
belongs to the same epoch as the Turritella sandstone. 

Mr. T. Stephens said that all who had any personal know- 
ledge of the locality would be greatly interested in the new 
theory that had been broached by Dr. Noetling as to the prob- 
able contemporaneity of the glacial drift and the fossiliferous 
sandstone. For his own part he did not yet see any reason to 
modify the opinion expressed in a paper that had been quoted by 
Dr. Noetling, to the effect that the " inlayers "' of drift inter- 
mingled with bands of the fossiliferous sandstone were really 
moraine matter that had been dislodged from the surface of the 
.'glacial drift and re-deposited at the time where the lower beds 
of the sandstone formation were being laid down. 

The Chairman, in complimenting Dr. Noetling" on the inte- 
resting and valuable paper read by him, stated that, notwith- 
standing the new puzzle of the interstratification of the elements 
of glacial erratics with what Dr. Noetling describes as " small 
lenticular layers of fossiliferous sandstones . . . undistinguishable 
from the sandstones above " (Turritella beds), he, Mr. Johnston, 
was still firmly of opinion that the prevailing conglomerates, 
imconformably underlying the Table Cape marine tertiaries, 
were, as originally suggested by Mr. Stephens, of truly Permo- 
Carboniferous age, and of the) same horizon as the numerous 
glacial drift conglomerates everywhere abounding in the lower 

beds of that age in Tasmania, notably Brown's River, Black- 
mans' Bay Heads (East Coast), Blackmans' Bay (near Brown's 
River), One Tree Point, North Bruny, and Lindisfarne. In the 
Derwent, notably overlying the basalts at Lindisfarne, similar 
conglomerates occur in lenticular patches among sandstones. 
The most of the harder materials in these- sandstone con- 
glomerates have been derived by disintegration and redistribu- 
tion of the older glacial erratics of the adjacent Permo-Car- 
boniferous rocks. He therefore inclined to the idea that the 
reconciliation of apparently confjlicting evidences at Table Cape- 
was to be found in accepting the hypothesis that two distinct 
conglomerate formations containing glacial erratics occur at this 
place. The older conglomerate is undoubtedly of Permo-Car- 
bonifcrous age, the later conglomerate deriving the most of its 
harder materials from the disintegration of the older glacial 
conglomerates either at the earlier stages of the formation of 
the Tertiar}^ Marine beds (Palaeogene), or towards its close. 
Further evidence will be necessary before this last point can be 
settled satisfactorily. 

NOVEMBER 8, 1909. 

The Monthly General Meeting of the Society was held at 
the Museum on Monday evening", November 8, 1909. 
Mr. Bernard Shaw, I.S.O., in the chair. 
Br,p:cTiox OF fellow. 
Mr. H. Stuart Dove was elected a Fellow of the Society. 


(i) Geological Notes on the country traversed by the Der- 
went Valley Railway Extension. By T. Stephens, M,A., F.G.S. 

The paper gives a general description of the basaltic sheet 
once extending continuously from Macquarie Plains to Glenora, 
and the occurrence in it of one of the new railway cuttings of 
masses of opal with traces of fossil wood. The intensely hard 
and brittle character of the neighbouring diabase is noted, and 
the evidence of its existence as an intrusive sill, or laccolite, 
under the sandstone formation illustrated by a Plate. The pre- 
sence of numerous erratics in the neighbourhood and along the 
course of the new railway is mentioned, as affording evidence 
of glacial action in not very remote times. 

Dr. Noetling said that he had long suspected glacial action 
in the Derwent Valley, and was glad to hear that such circum- 
stantial evidence of it had been discovered. 

Mr. Piesse remarked that other mountain ranges in Eastern 
Tasmania, instancing Ben Lomond and its outliers, showed un- 
mistakable evidence of glaciation, and hoped that the matter 
would be more fully investigated. 

(2) Points in the Morphology and AnattMuy of certain ]\Iega- 
podes. By T, Thomson Flynn, B.Sc, 

The author describes the results of his examination of speci- 
mens of two genera represented by the Scrub Turkey and the 
Mallee Fowl, and treats separately of the Pterylosis, or feather 
arrangement, and the Myology of the hind limb. The paper is 
illustrated by descriptive figures. 


By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 
(Read 3rd May, 1909.) 

As the AlDorig-ines of Tasmania called their stone 
implements " tronatta," I think it advisable to use this 
word in preference to all others When speaking of them. 
" Tronatta " means a stone implement manufactured by 
the Tasmanian Aborigines, and it does not bear on the 
vexed question whether we have to consider these 
amorpholitic implenTents as eolithes or as archaeolithes. 
I may, however, add t!hat I have no reason to alter the 
conclusion arrived at in my first paper, read before the 
Fellows of the Royal Society (i), viz., that the tronatta 
represents the typical archaeolithic stage in the evolu- 
tion of the stone implements, somewhat modified by a 
considerable admixture of implements of eolithic cha- 

Since I commenced these researches my collection 
of tronattas has greatly increased. I also obtained a 
large collection of oligocene, miocene, and diluvial 
archaeolithes and eolithes from Belgium and France,, 
and this has enabled me to fix the position of the Tas- 
manian tronattas somewhat more accurately in the 
ladder of evolution. 

Li none of the collections that have been sent to me 
are there specimens which in any way approach the hig^h 
finish of some of the tronattas. On the other hand, it 
would be going too far to assume that those who kindly 
sent me these specimens included in their collection 
so'me highly finished ones, unless these were pretty 
common. The well-finished tronattas are by no means 
very common ; I almost doubt whether they represent 

(i) Notes oil the Tasmanian Amorpholithes, Pap. and 
Proceed. Royal Soc. of Tas., 1906-1907, pag. 1I-37. 


more than lo per cent, of the total, and the same ap- 
phes very likely to the archaeolithes of Europe. Not 
having obtained European archaeolithes of a high finish, 
does not prove that they do not exist ; however, if 
the)^ did exist, we might expect their figures in the 
numerous pamphlets that have been, published up to 
date on this subject. But 'here we search in vain. None 
of the specimens that have been fi^gured, and they most 
probably do not represent the worst ones, come any- 
where near to the highly finished tronatta of those 
groups which have been classified as choppers, scrapers, 
and knives. It therefore seems, that notwit'h'Standing its 
eolithic element, the Tasmanian stage represents the 
highest stage of the archaeolithic civilisation. If this 
view be correct, we bave at last gained that important 
step which has already been made with regard to the 
palaeolithic implements, viz., the beginning of a classi- 
fication according to the skill shown in the finish of the 

If the Tasmanian tronatta by its finish represents the 
highest stage of archaeolithic civilisation, it is of great 
importance to ascertain its distinguishing features. This 
is, however, only possible by unceasing work. In the 
following paper I wish to describe a small group of im- 
plenTents which are of special interest, because they 
seem to have been manufactured contrary to the com- 
mon rule. Mr. R. M. Johnston was the first who re- 
cognised the chief dharacter of the tronatta. In his 
" Geology of Tasmania," Mr. Johnston says, page 335, 
as follows : — " Whatever lack of symmetry they present 
in facial outline, one of the faces is almost invariably 
smootlhi and flattish, without marks of chipping. . . . The 
direction of the blows to produce the sharp, smooth, or 
finely serrate edge appears to have been towards the 
stone and away from the original flat face." 

No conciser characteristic of the tronatta could be 
given than this, and, though written in 1888, Herr 
Klaatsch, who visited Tasmania towards the end of 1906 
and early in 1907, entirely disregards it, and proceeds 
to give a description of the characteristics of the Tas- 
manian implements, purporting to be his own, but prac- 
tically exactly the same as that of Mr. Jo'hnston. Con- 
sidering that Herr Klaatsch did not devote more than a 
fortnight to the studv of the tronattas, and that his own 


collection is far from being representative, his preten- 
sion to give the scientific world the characteristics of 
the Tasmanian stone implement is rather a bold one, 
and it cannot be strongly enough emphasised that the 
credit of having first defined the characteristic features 
■of the tronatta is due to Mr. R. M. Johnston, and not 
to Herr Klaatsch (i). 

I have subsequently somewhat enlarged on Mr. 
Johnston's description, without, however, in any vv^ay 
altering its main features. I have shown that the 
smooth, flat face was the es&ential part of the imple- 
ment, because it served as a rest for the thumb, and I 
accordingly called it pollical face. I therefore gave Mr. 
Johnston's statement a somewhat different wording by 
saying that the bloiws were directed away from the 
pollical face towards the indical face (i). The Tasmanian 
tronatta is therefore primarily an unsymmetrical imple- 
ment, whose chipping is limited to one face only, viz., 
the indical face, which is opposite to the smooth, pollical 

The group of implements forming the subject of this 
paper seems to be opposed to this rule, inasmuch as 
marginal chipping can be observed on both faces. At the 
first glance it may appear as if this class of implements 
forms a true transitional stage to the symmetrical 
palaeolithic implements wrought on both faces. More 
■closer examination will, however, prove that there is a 
fundamental difference ; though the marginal chipping 
can be observed on the indical as well as on the pollical 
face, it is always strictly limited to one face only — that 
is to say, one and the same edge is either chipped on 

(i) Though not quite so exhaustive as Mr. Johnston's, a de- 
scription of the tronatta is given by Brough Smyth, Aborigines 
of Victoria, 1878, Vol. II., pag. 400 and 401, in which ah-eady 
the essential features are recognised. To whomsoever we may 
give the credit of having first recognised the characteristics of 
the tronatta, to Mr. Johnston or to Brough Smyth, it is cer- 
tainly not due to Herr Klaatsch, who only repeats what others 
have found out long before him. This may be somewhat strong 
language, but is is fully justified by the circumstances. 

(i) Inter lineas I may remark here that Herr Klaatsch abso- 
lutely ignores this, though my paper was read nearly a year 
before his own, and though I explained everything to him ver- 
bally when he visit-ed Hobart, 


the indical or on the polHcal face, but it is never chipped 
on both faces at the same time. The fundamental dif- 
ference from the palaeoHthic implement, in which one 
and the same edge is chipped on both faces, is obvious. 

Another characteristic feature of these implements is 
the flat, frequently smootih, indical face. In the majority 
of the tronattas the indical face is strongly convex ; in 
this group it is quite flat — in fact it could be used as a 
pollical face — and I believe this flatness accounts for the 
marginal chipping not being strictly limited to the in- 
dical face. I particularly wish to point out that not a 
single specimen has come under notice w^hich, having* 
the usual convex indical face, exhibits marginal chip- 
ping on the pollical face. It is, therefore, evident, that 
a flat indical face which could just as well serve as polli- 
cal face was the essential condition for bi-faced mar- 
ginal chipping. 

This class of implements is very rare : I doubt 
Whether it represents even i per cent, of the total 
number. In the large number of specimens I have 
collected there were only about 40 in all. 

The finest specimen (PI. I., fig. i), was found at the 
Old Beach, and is probably uique. It is a tronatta of 
24}^ mm. length and 34 mm. breadth, weighing 480 grs. 
It is broader in the middle than at both ends ; the upper 
one is sharply pointed, while the lower one is less so. 
The largest breadth is considerably below half of the 
length, and this gives it a peculiar leaf-shaped form, 
particularly as the two lateral edges are slightly convex.. 
The pollical face, though smooth, is not quite flat, show- 
ing the wrinkles peculiar to conchoidal fracture. The 
indical face, though flat on the whole, is divided by a 
somewhat irregular longitudinal ridge, which runs close 
to the left side. The left edge shows the usual chipping 
almost from point to point, but the right edge is only 
chipped ot the lower half, and all working abruptly 
ceases just above the middle of the length. On turning- 
to the pollical face, we see that the chipping exactly 
commences at that point where it ceases on the indical 
face, and continues to the end of the right lateral edge. 
Now, as the chipping of the indical face was produced 
by blows directed from the pollical face towards the in- 
dical face, and that of the pollical face by blows directed 
in the opposite wa}', the effect is rather a curious one. 


Seen sideways, the rig*]!! edge, instead of being straight, 
as it would have been had the chipping been carried out 
in one direction oni}', presents a peculiar broken line. 

It is obvious that such a crooked edge cannot be of 
the slightest use, for any purposes whatsoever, and it is 
probably thanks to this error of the workman who 
manufactured it that it was preserved. The question is, 
how did this curious error — for error it must be — arise? 
I think the rather flat indical face forms the key to the 
solution of the problem. The Aborigine having finished 
the trimming of the left edge, proceeded to take the 
rjg'ht edge in hand, and in doing so he inadvertently 
turned the specimen over, and, without noticing it, com- 
jnenced to chip from the indical face towards the pollical 
face along the upper part of the right edge. Suddenly 
hie noticed his mistake, and he at once proceeded to 
continue the trimming in the orthodox way — that is to 
say, from the pollical face towards the indical face. 

There is no other way of explaining this very 
peculiar wa}- of chipping, but it throws a flood of light 
on the mental condition of the Aborigines. To our 
modern mind it seems absolutely unintelligible why this 
useless working edge should not have been turned into 
an exceedingly sharp one by chipping away the indical 
face of the upper and the pollical face of the lower part 
of the right edge. The intelligence of the Tasmanian 
could not conceive this idea. His mind lacked the in- 
ventive genius which promotes progress. He had been 
accustomed to trim his implements by blows from the 
flat pollical face towards the the convex indical face, but 
it never occurred to him to make an attempt in the 
opposite direction, and even if he had inadvertently 
made a mistake he at once returned to the time- 
honoured fashion. Had he only continued the chipping 
in either direction all along the edge once the mistake 
had been made, he would have found what a much 
more efficient cutting edge he could produce by bi-faced 
trimming. But he did not do so, and it is almost pathetic 
to think that here we have a specimen which might have 
led to the manufacture of more efficient implements, 
and thus perhaps changed the fate of the ,whole race, had 
this most simple invention been made. As it has not 
been made, it proves that those inventions, which appear 
to us so simple that we are accustomed to take them as 


a matter of fact, which didnot require an inventive- 
genius at all, were probably the most difficult to make, 
and that it required a real genius to lead mankind from 
the low archaeolithic to the higdier palaeolithic stage. 

PI. I., fig. 2, a specimen from Melton Mowbray, 
measures 75 mm. in length ; tbe breadth at the butt end 
is 37 mm., at the opposite end 54 mm., and its greatest 
thickness is 13 mm. The weight is 1,210 grs. (2^ 
ounces). The lateral edges are straight, the broader 
■edge curved, the narrower edge nearly straight. Its 
shape is trapezoidal, and, being broader at one end than 
at the other, and rather thin, it imitates in a way an a>;e- 
head. This similarity is considerably increased by the 
broader end being well chipped. We know, however, 
that the Aborigines did not possess axes provided with 
a handle, and it would be absurd to designate this 
tronatta as an axe-head. On the other band, it is easy 
to see how such mistaken identifications can arise. If 
we knew absolutely nothing about the i\borigines, a 
specimen like this would without question have been 
declared an axe-head, though it miglht perhaps re- 
mained a puzzle why not only the cutting but also one 
of the longitudinal edges was sharpened. In this in- 
stance we know better, but the lesson with regard to 
the interpretation of European archaeolithes is obvious.. 

The pollical face is smooth and flat, but at the butt 
end it shows a large bulb of percussion. The right edge 
is almost for its whole length well chipped on the pollical 
face. The indical face is almost flat, and the edge of the 
broader end, which is slightly curved, is neatly and care- 
fullv chipped. The chipping extends even somewhat to 
the' left lateral edge, but it does not extend far enough 
as to join on to the chipping of the pollical face, though 
it is easy to see that the result would have been the same- 
as in the former specimen. 

PI. II., fig. I, a specimen from Mona A'ale, measures 
115 mm. in length, and has a greatest breadth of 59 
mm., weighing 4 ounces. At its thickest part it 
measures 19 mm., but for the greater part the thickness 
is not more than 9 mm., and even comes down to 3 
mm. at one end. 

The general shape is irregularly rhomboidal ; one- 
lateral edge is almost straight, and that next to it 
concave. "The pollical face is smooth and flat, and the- 


right edge is well chipped all along. The indical face, 
though' not quite so smooth as the former, is well 
chipped along the concave edge. The junction of the 
two chipped edges forms a rather sharp point, but again 
the chipping of both faces fails to join. 

PI. ILL, fig. I, a specimen from Maryvale, measures 
57 X 57 mm.; its greatest thickness does not exceed 14 
mm.; its weight is 1,032 grs. (21 1-3 ounces). The 
general shape is nearly rlhombical ; two sides (the butt 
and opposite end) being nearly straight, the other two 
sides concave. The pollical face is very smooth and 
fiat, the wrinkles of percussion being just visible. If we 
take the butt as the upper end (i) the right edge is well 
chipped, and deeply concave on the pollical face. The 
indical face is almost as flat as the former, but three 
edges are chipped — the butt edge, Avhich has been par- 
ticularly carefully trimmed, and the right lateral edge,, 
which is again deeply concave. 

PL III., fig. 2, a specimen from Shene, measures 71 
mm. in length, and, though its greatest breadth is 44 
mm., for the greater part of its length it is under 35 mm. 
The thickness does not exceed 9 mm., and the weight is 
520 grs. (i 1-5 ounces). The general shape is elongated, 
broader at the butt end, one of the lateral edges 
straight (or even slightly convex), the other slightly 
concave. According to its shape, it seems well suitable 
for a knife or a scraper. The pollical face is flat and 
smooth, the wrinkles of percussion are slightly marked. 
Its left edge is concave, and well chipped along its 
whole length. The indical face is fairly smooth, but 
there are few longitudinal ridges as the result of flaking. 
The left edge very carefully trimmed. 

PI. III., fig. 3, a specimen from the moutih of the 
Coal River, is somewhat similar in shape to the former. 
It measures 58 mm. in length, and has an average 
breadth of 28 mm., though at one part it reaches 37 mm. 
The thickness is 9 mm., and its weight 365 gTs. Its 
shape is elongated, straight at the butt end, rounded off 
at the opposite end. One lateral edge is s'traight, the 

(i) I always place the specimens in such a way that the butt 
end represents the upper end, because it is certain that, having 
received the blow, it was nearest to the workman — that is to 
say, uppermost in its original position at the parent block. 


Other undulating, showing a broad, short prominence, 
■on either side of whidh it is concave. The poiHcal face 
is smooth and flat, and its left edge is well chipped all 
along its length. The indical face is smooth, but a very 
conspicuous longitudinal ridge runs somewhat closer to 
the left edge, which is very carefully chipped ; tihe chip- 
pings extend also over the rounded-olf ends, but un- 
fortunately the specimen is just at that point damaged 
where indical and pollical chipping would join. 

These specimens are sufficient to illustrate the 
peculiar feature of this group, which in my opinion is, 
however, not intentional. As already pointed out, bi- 
faced marginal trimming is only observred when the in- 
dical face is almost as smooth and fiat as the pollical 
face. This seems to indicate that when a fiake was 
obtained whose two faces were fiat, and could therefore 
indiscriminately be used as the pollical face, the Abori- 
gines made the most of it, and usea both accordingly. 

It is very interesting to note that similar specimens 
have been found in Europe. Amongst a collection of 
eolithes from the Mesvinien of Belgium, which has been 
sent to me by Dr. Rutot, of Bruxelles, I found several 
specimens which were used on both faces. These speci- 
mens exhibit the same feature as the Tasmanian tron- 
attas, namely, a smooth and flat indical face, which 
-could conveniently be used as a rest for the thumb. They 
are apparently more frequent among the European 
eolithes than among the Tasmanian tronattas, but 
whether this is the result of flint producing more easily 
two flat faces when broken than the Tasmanian horn- 
stone (trona or mora trona), I am unable to say for 
the present. We might perhaps consider these imple- 
ments as archaistic remnants from the times when the 
art of working pieces of siliceous stone was still in its 
very infancy. Anything to save trouble — and the shap- 
ing of a tronatta v^^as by no means an easy matter (teste 
Scott !) — was resorted to, and if a flake was obtained 
which had two pollical faces, so to speak, it was used 
as long as possible. 

I consider this merely a suggestion, as I am well 
aware that further proof would be required before this 
view could be further discussed. 

Roy. Soc. Tasm 1909 

PL I. 



FIG. 2 



FIG 2A. 


■pigi 1— Indical Face. Fi^. 1a — Pol Heal Face. Figs. 1b and Ic — Side Views. 

Fig. 2 — Indical Face. Fig. 2a — PoUical Face 

Roy. Soc. Tasm., 1909. 


FiC. 1A. 

Fig. 1 — PoUical Face. 

Fig. 1a — Iiidical Face. 

Roy. Soc. Tas.. 1909 

Pl. III. 

Figs. 1, 2, 3— Indical Face. 

Figs. 1a, 2a, 3a— Pollical Faces. 


By J. H. Maiden, F.L.S. 

Government Botanist and Director of the Botanic 
Gardens, S^'dne}'. ' ■ 

♦ Corresponding Alemiber. 

(Read May 3rd, 1909.) 

I have used the term " botanists " in a somewhat 
wide sense, having included collectors of note, whether 
they described their finds or not, notable horticul- 
turists, and, in my general list (5), botanists who have 
described Australian plants whether they visited this 
land or not. I have included no living man, so far as I 
am aware. 

Some notes on South Australian botanists will be 
found in (4), of New South Wales ones in (5), and I am 
taking steps to publish my notes on the botanists of 
other Australian States in their respective States. 

It-jWill be seen how imperfect is the record of some 
who have worked amongst us, and who have not been 
removed by the hand of death very long". 

Records of departed botanists form a branch of Aus- 
tralian history of practical value to working botanists. 
They afford a guide to their published works, and indi- 
cate where their observations were made. 

The lists of species named after the various botanists 
and collectors are valuable (so I have often found) for 
tracing particulars of botanical journeys, biographical 
notes, and other useful information. 


Bailey, F.M.— " A Concise History of Australian 
Botany,'' " Proc. Rov. Soc, Queensland, viii. Quoted 

as (I) 


Hooker, J. D. — " Introductory Essay to the Flora 
of Tasmania," cxii.-cxxviii. ("Outlines of the progress of" 
Botanical discovery in Australia"). Quoted as (2). 

Alaiden, J.H. — Address of the President, Section D, 
Biology, Australasian Association for the Advancement 
of Science, Adelaide Meeting, 1907. Contains biogra- 
phical notices of South Australian and some other 
botanists. Quoted as (4). 

" Records of Australian Botanists — (a) General, (b) 
New South Wales." (" Proc. Roy. Soc," N.S.W,. xHi.,. 
1908.) Quoted as (5). 

" Records of Victorian Botanists " (" Vict. Nat.," 
190S, p. 101-117. Quoted as (8). 

"' Records of Western Australian Botanists " 
(" Journ. W.A. Nat. Hist., 1909.") Quoted as (9). 

Britten and Boulger. — " British and Irish Botanists." 
Quoted as (6)- 

Mennell, Philip. — " The Dictionary of Australian 
Biography from the Inauguration of Responsible Go- 
vernment down to the Present Time " (1855-1892). 
London, 1892. Quoted as (7). 

ABBOTT, FRANCIS, Jr. (1834-1903V 

Born at Derby, England, i8th June, 1834; died at 
Hobart, 22nd November, 1903. Buried at Cornelian 
Bay Cemetery. 

He was appointed Superintendent of Botanical Gar- 
dens, Hobart, 8th December, 1859, and was connected 
with them from the age of 17, having been apprenticed 
to his predecessor, F. W. Newman. 

He was a genial, kindly man, full of practical know- 
ledge, never more happy than when he Avas imparting it 
to others. 

iPIe was the author of the following papers in the 
Journal of this Society: — "The Sugar Beet," 1871, p. 
31; "Thistles," 1878, p. 73; "Wild or Canadian Rice 
{Zizania aquatica), " 1878, p. y^; " Notes on New Plants, 
introduced into the Royal Society's Gardens during 
1883," 1883, p. 186: " Notes on a Recent Case of Poison- 


ing caused b}^ the Exhalation of Rhus radicans (Toxi- 
codendron) at the Botanical Gardens, Hobart," 1886, p. 
182; "Smut in Wheat," 1889, p. 95. 


Died 3rd August, 1778, off the coast of Russian Asia, 
and an island sighted shortly after his death was named 
Anderson's Island. Cook says of him : — " He was a 
sensible young man, an agreeable companion, well 
skilled in his profession, and had acquired much know- 
ledge in other sciences." 

He was Surgeon of H.M.S. " Resolution," Cook's 
Third Voyage, and also acted as Naturalist. Quoted by 
Cook, e.g., in regard to Adventure Bay (Tasmania) 
plants in his " A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean," etc. 3rd. 
Edition, 1795, pp. 106-8. 

See R. Brown's " Prod. Florae Novae Hollandiae," 
p. 409, where his descriptions of plants in Cat. Banksian 
Library (Vol. 2, p. 52, and Vol. 3, p. 184) are referred 
to. In his MSS. he described various genera, e.g., 
" Collema " (Gooclenia, Sm.), " Euphocarpus " (Correa, 
Sm.) ; " Ramsaia " (Bauera, Banks) ; " Aromadendrum " 
(Eucalyptus, L'Herit.). 

He is commemorated • in " Andersonia sprenge- 
loides," R. Br.— -j;" Sprengelia Andersoni," F. v. M. 
Brown says his genus not only commemorates William 
Anderson, but also Alexander Anderson, of the Botanic 
Gardens, St. Vincent. 

ARCHER, WILLIAM (1820-1874). 

Born at Launceston, Tasmania, i6th May, 1820 ; 
died a* Fairfield, near Longford, Tasmania, I4tli Octo- 
ber, 1874; was educated at a school at Longford, and 
afterwards went to England, where he qualified as an 
architect, and, returning, practised in Tasmania. 

He was elected a member of the first Legislature of 
Tasmania in 1851, and on his return from a second 
sojourn in England in i860, became a member of Mr. 
Weston's Ministry. He also twice represented Devon 
in the Assemblv. On the death of his father he came 


into possession of Cheshunt, Deloraine, named after the 
town in Hertfoi-ds'hire, whence the Archers emig-rated 
early in the last century. Cumming's Head is the moun- 
tain overlooking the Cheshunt Estate, and is often 
quoted in Archer's plant-labels. 

In i860 he succeeded Dr. Milligan as Secretan^ of 
the Royal Society of Tasmania, and held that office for 
two years. 

" It remains only to mention my friend, William Archer, 
Esq., F.L.S., of Cheshunt, who, after a residence of upwards 
of ten years in Tasmania, during which he sedulously investi- 
gated the botany of the district surrounding his property, re- 
turned to England, 1857, with an excellent herbarium, copious 
notes, analyses, and drawings, and a fund of accurate informa- 
tion on the vegetation of his n'ative island, which have been 
unreservedly placed at my disposal." (2) 

And, again — 

'■ I received the most encouraging assistance from my 
friend, William Archer, Esq., of Cheshunt, Tasmania, who for- 
Avarded to me a beautiful series of drawings of Tasmanian 
Orchids, together with £100 to be expended on the Flora, and 
he sooi''- afterwards arrived in England, and rendered me still 
more valuable aid by his observations and collections, which is 
duly acknowledged in the body of this work .... adding 30 
plates, including 60 species, chiefly of Orchideae (of many of 
which Mr. Archer had prepared the drawings)." (2) 

Hooker dedicates his " Tasmanian Flora " conjointly 
to Gunn and Archer, which is excellent testimony to the 
value of the latter's services in the elucidation of Tas- 
manian plants. 

His papers in this Journal include: — ''Observations 
upon the Plants which are characteristic of Agricultural, 
Pasturable, and Bad Lands respectively in Tasmania." 
1864, p. 96; "Notes on an Excursion to Cumming's 
Head and the Ealls of the INIeander, on the Western 
Mountains, Tasmania." "lb.," 1870, p. 54; "Notes on 
the Calif ornian Thistle," 1870, p. 70. ^ 

He is commemorated by the following plants : — 
Psoralea Archeri, F. v. M. ; Mitrasacme Archeri, Hook, 
f. ; Plantago Archeri, Hook. f.=:?; Diselma Archeri, 
Hook. f. ; Prasophyllum Archeri, Hook. f. : Carex 
Archeri, Boott.Trrr.C. acicularis, Boott. ; Danthonia Ar- 
^cheri, Hook. f.z=r?; Dianella Archeri, Hook. i.T=^?. 

I am much indebted for information furnished by his 
son, Mr. Walter K. Archer. 

BY J. H. MAIDEN, F.L.S. I3,- 

BACKHOUSE, JAMES (1794- 1869). 

An admirable observer, who botanised in most of the 
AustraHan colonies, 1838-41. and spent much time in 
Tasmania. He belonged to the Society of Friends, and 
was a philanthropist engaged on a religious mission. 
See (5). 

BROWN, ROBERT (1773-1858). 

The " Prince of Australian Botanists." I have dealt 
with him briefly at (5), and much fuller in my '' Life of 
Sir Joseph Banks." He botanised much in Tasmania,, 
and will for ever be identified with her flora. 

CALEY, GEORGE (? 1775-1829). 

He was in Tasmania in 1805, and in New South\ 
Wales, 1800-1810. He was a protege of Sir Joseph 
Banks. See (5). also my " Life of Sir Joseph Banks." 


"' The Rev. (sic) Richard H. Davies has discovered' 
many curious and some new plants on the East Goast_ 
of Tasmania since the year 1833, which were communi- 
cated to Mr. Archer." 

Richard Davies was brotlier of Archdeacon Davies.. 
He contributed papers to the Royal Society, Tasmania,, 
on the Natural History of the Mutton Birds, on the 
Aborigines of Van Dienien's Land, and the Rapacity of' 
Tasmanian fish. 

The following plant, Phebalium Daviesi, Hook. f.-= 
P. glandulosum. Hook. var. (?) Daviesi was collected by 
R. H. Davies, Esq., Herb. Archer, on the East Coast,, 
near St. Helen's Bay. See Hooker, " Fl. Tas.," ii., 358. 

EWnXG, REV. T. J. ( ). 

Of Hobart. He wrote papers on Statistics and 
Zoology (birds and insects) in the "■ Tasmanian Journal,"' 
Vols. i. and ii., and " Papers and Proceedings " of this. 
Society, Vol. iii. 


He gave attention to the native vegetation, and 
wrote on the large trees of Tasmania. He also collected 
Algae assiduously for Harvey, and Acanthococcus 
Ewingii, named by Harvey in his honour, was figured in 
the " Phycologia Australica." 

FEREDAY, REV. JOHN (1813-1871). 

Born 8th Novemiber, 1813, at the Ellowes, Stafford- 
shire, England ; died George Town, Tasmania, 8th April, 
1871. He was Master of Arts and FelloAV of Worcester 
College, Oxford. 

" The Rev. Mr. Fereday, the Episcopahan Clergyman at 
George Town, Tasmania, an enthusiastic lover of natural his- 
tory, especially of algae. He had a boat and dredge, and at 
once volunteered himself as a firm ally and assistant." 
(" Memoir of W. H. Harvey," p. 282, 1854.) 

Harvey dedicated the 4th volume of his " Phycologia 
Australica " to Mr. Fereday in the following graceful 
terms : — 

'■ To the Rev. John' Fereday, M.A., of George Town, Tas- 
mania, who has cultivated several branches of natural history, 
and to Mrs. Fereday, an accomplished and successful collector ' 
of algae, the fourth volume of the " Phycologia Australica " is 
inscribed in grateful memory of many kindnesses conferred on 
the author during his stay at George Town." 

In the preface to Vol. 5, Harvey says : — 

" During my residence at George Town, Tasmania, the Rev. 
J. Fereday rendered me the most efficient aid in prosecuting my 
researches. His boat and strong arm were almost daily at my 
service, and many thousands of specimens were collected under 
his auspices. He knew all the best localities on the Tamar, 
and was continual!}'- my guide to them. Without his able 
.guidance and active assistance my visit to George Town would 
have proved comparatively unfruitful, instead of yielding me a 
rich harvest of specimens. To Mrs. Fereday I am indebted 
for many beautifully preserved specimens, and for aid in '" laying 
■out " and drying the tubsful of delicate algae which we almost 
■daily brought home." 

Samuel Hannaford (See p. 10), himself also a 
student of Algae, describes in his " Wild Flowers of 
Tasmania," pp. 75 and 85, a visit to Mr. Fereday, on 

which they botanised together. 

Harv^ey figured the following plants in his '" Phyco- 
logia Australica " : — 

Cladophora Feredayi, Harv. ; Dasya Feredays. 


I am indebted to Mr. Fereday's daughter, Mrs. 
Brewer, of Corowa, N.S.W., for some personal notes 
concernine: her father. 

•GUNN, RONALD CAMPBELL (1808- 1881). 

Born at Cape Town, 4th April, 1808; arrived in Tas- 
mania, 1829, died at Newstead, Lamiceston, Tasmania, 
13th March, 1881. 

As a child was at the capture of Mauritius and Bour- 
bon with his father, whose regiment was afterwards at 
the Cape until the peace after Waterloo, when it was 
■ordered to Barbadoes. R. C. Gunn was noted for a 
■commission in the army, but eventually sailed for Tas- 
mania in 1829. In 1830 he was appointed Superinten- 
dent of convicts for North Tasmiania, in 1833 placed in 
the Commission of the Peace, and in 1836 was appointed 
Police Magistrate at Circular Head. 

From Circular Head he made an expedition to the 
mainland, visiting Port Phillip, Western Port, and Port 
Fairy. In 1838 he was appointed Assistant Police 
Magistrate at Hobart Town, and in the following year 
Private Secretary to Sir John Franklin, and Clerk of the 
Executive and Legislative Councils. In 1841 he re- 
signed these appointments to take charge of the estates 
of Mr. W. E. Lawrence, of Formosa, and subsequently 
spent most of his spare time in exploring the unsettled 
districts, and reporting on the flora of Tasmania. He 
represented the Northern districts in the Legislative 
Council and the House of Assembly, and was engaged 
by the Government in various exploratory expeditions 
for investigating the natural products and resources of 
the State. 

In 1864 he was appointed one of the Commissioners 
for selecting the seat of Government in New Zealand. 

" Ronald Campbell Gunn, Esq., F.R.S. and F.L.S. . to whose 
labours the Flora of Tasmania is so largely indebted, was the 
friend and companion of the late Mr. Lawrence, from whom 
he imbibed his love of botany. Between 1832 and 1850 Mr. 
Gunn collected indefatigably over a great portion of Tasmania, 
but especially at Circular Head, Emu Bay, Rocky Cape, the 
Asbestos and Hampshire Hills, Western Mountains. Flinders 
and other islands in Bass' Strait, the East Coast, the whole 
valley of the Derwent, from its sources to Recherche, the lake 
districts of St. Clair, Echo, Arthur's Lakes, and the country 


west of them to Macquarie Harbour, and the Franklin and 
Huon Rivers. There are few Tasmanian plants that Mr. Gunn 
has not seen alive, noted their habits in a living state, and col- 
lected large suites of specimens with singular tact and judgment. 
These have all been transmitted to England in perfect preserva- 
tion, and are accompanied with notes that display remarkable 
powers of observation, and a facility for seizing important 
characters in the physiognomy of plants such as few experienced 
botanists possess. I had the pleasure of making Mr. Gunn's 
acquaintance at Hobarton in 1840, and am indebted to him for 
nearly all I know of the vegetation of the districts I then 
visited, for we either studied together in the field or in the 
library, or when he could not accompany me himself he directed 
one of his servants, who was an experienced guide — a plant- 
collector — to accompany me and take charge of my specimens. 
I can recall no happier weeks of my various wanderings over 
the globe than those spent with Mr. Gunn collecting in the 
Tasmanian mountains and forests, or studying our plants in his 
library, with the V'Orks of our predecessors, Labillardiere and 

" Mr. Gunn made a short A'isit to Port Phillip and Wilson's 
Promontory, and collected largely, noting all the differences 
between the vegetation of the opposite shores of Bass' Straits." 

Hooker dedicated his Tasmanian flora conjointly to 
Gunn and Archer. 

He was the most eminent botanist of Tasmania. His 
collections are widely diffused, and his neat handwriting, 
giving all the necessary details, is known to all Austra- 
lian botanists who give altention to the history of Aus- 
tralian botany. I make no apology for giving details of 
his collecting grounds and other information concerning 
him. He corresponded regularly with Sir Joseph 
Hooker at Kew, and with Mueller, and all notable Aus- 
tralian botanists of his time. 

" He corresponded with Sir William Hooker, sending plants 
to Kew, and with Dr. J. E. Gray, to whom he forwarded a 
series of mammals, birds, reptiles, and mollusca for the Natural 
History Museum. H^e helped to form the Royal Society of 
Tasmania. There is at Kew a coloured crayon drawing of him, 
artist uncertain. Bust, face three-quarters to the right; I4^in. 
by lo^in." (" Kew Catalogue of Portraits of Botanists." 1906, 
p. 56.) 

F.L.S.. 1850; F.R.S., 1854; R.S.C. iii., 1887; '• Journ. 
Bot.,"' 1881, 192; " Proc. Linn. Soc," 1881-2. 63; 
Lasegue. 283; Hooker. "Flora Ta:.mania," cxxv. ; 
" Proc. R. Soc." xxxiv. (1883), xiii. ; '* Diet. Nat. Biog.," 
xxiii., 342 (6). 

. BY J. H. MAIDEN, F.L.S. 17 

For a 'brief biography of him see (7). See also "■ Ann. 
Nat. Hist.," i., loi (1838). also "The Botany of the 
Antarctic Voyage," [by J. Hooker (a review) .i^rRichea 
pandanai folia] (" Tasm. Journal Sc," iii.), Launceston,. 
1846. See also the list of his papers in the " Tas. Journ. 
and Proc. Roy. Soc. Tas." in Morton's Register, 1887. 

Harvey dedicated the 5th Volume of his " Phycologia 
Australica " to him in the following terms : — 

"To Ronald Campbell Gunn, Esq., F.R.S., F.L-S., of Laun- 
ceston, Tasmania, who, with his accustomed liberality, placed 
at the author's disposal the whole of his rich collections of 
Tasmanian algae, this concluding volume of the ' Phycologia 
Australica " is gratefully and respectfully inscribed by his 
friend, W. H. Harvey." 

In the Preface to Vol. 5, Harvey also says : — 

" Ronald C. Gunn, Esq., F.R.S., whose name is indelibly 
associated with the botany of Tasmania, has largely assisted 
me in this work. From him came the earliest collections of 
Australian algae, which, through the kindness of Sir W. J. 
Hooker, fell under mj notice. Many new species are of his 
discovery; to him is also due the re-discovery of Claudea 
elegans; and to him 1 am not only indebted for the freest use 
of his personal collections, but for multitudes of duplicate 
specimens;" and figured Nitophyllum Gunnianum, Harv., in his 
" Phycologia Australica." 

He is commemorated by the genus Guiinia, and also 
by the following species : — 

Boronia Gunnii, Hook. — rrBoronia pinuata, Sm. var. 
Gunnii; Cryptandra Gunnii, Hook. f.::r=Spyridium Gunnii, 
Benth. ; Lasiopetalum Gunnii, Steetz.— z-L. dasyphyllum, 
Sieb. ; Ranunculus Gunnianus, Hook. ; Stackhousia 
Gunnianus, Schlecht. ; and Stackhousia Gunnii, Hook., 
f., both=S. monogyna, Labill. ; Tetratheca Gunnii, 
Hook. f.-^T. pilosa, Labill. va;r. ( ?) procumbens ; Acacia 
Gunnii, Benth.::r=A. vomeriformis, A. Cunn. ; Desmodium 
Gunnii, Hook, f.— rD. varians, Endl. var. Gunnii ; Halo- 
ragis Gunnii, Hook. f.:=:H. teucriodes, A. Gray ; Psor- 
alea Gunnii, Hook, f.— ^P. adscendens, F. v. M. ; Pulte- 
naea Gunnii, Benth. ; Rubus Gunnianus, Hook. ; Aplo- 
pappus Gunnii, Hook. f.=Erigeron pappochroma, Labill. 
var. Gunnii ; Asperula Gunnii, Hook. f. ; Emphysopus 
Gunnii, Hook, f.— =Lagenophora emphysopus. Hook. f. ; 
Erechtites Gunnii, Hook. f.=:E. quadridentata, D.C. var. 
Gunnii ; Erigeron Gunnii, Hook. f.-r:E. pappodhroma, 
Labill. var. Gunnii ; Eucalyptus Gunnii, Hook. f. ; 


Eucalyptus Gunnii, Miq.=( ?) ; Eucalyptus Gunnii, F. v 
M.— tE. Stuartiana, F. v. M. (as formerly understood) 
Eurybia Gunniana, D.C.=01earia stellulata, D.C. 
Helichrysum Gunnii, Hook, f.— tH. scopioides, Labill. 
Lag"enophora Gunniana, Steetzi^r. Huegelii, Benth. 
Melaleuca Gunniana, Schau. — :M. ericifolia, Sm. ; Ozo- 
thamnus Gunnii, Hook. f.=Helichrysum Gunnii, F. v. 
M. ; Panax Gunnii, Hook. f. ; Tetrapora Gunniana, Miq. 
r^Baeckea Gunniana, Schau. ; Decaspora Gunnii, Hook. 
f.^rTrochocarpa Gunnii, Benth. ; Epacris Gunnii, Hook. 
f.rr:rE. microphylla, R. Br. var. Gunnii; Limanthemum 
Gunnii, Hook. f.=Liparophyllum 'Gunnii, Hook., f. ; 
Richea Gunnii, Hook, f. ; Veronica Gunnii, Benth.— rV. 
calycina, R. Br. ; Villarsia Gunnii, Hook. f.:x=:Liparo- 
phyllum Gunnii, Hook. f. ; Banksia Gunnii, Meissn.=B. 
marg-inata, Cav. ; Muhlenbeckia Gunnii, Hook. f.::=M. 
adpressa, Meissn. var. hastifolia, Meissn. ; Persoonia 
Gunnii, Hook. f. ; Plantago Gunnii, Hook. f. ; Caladenia 
'Gunnii, Reichb.— =:Chilog-lottis Gunnii, Lindl. ; Callitris 
Gunnii, Hook. f.zirrFrenela Gunnii, Endl.— ^F. australis, 
R. Br. ; Casuarina Gunnii. Hook. f. — C. stricta. Ait. ; 
Fag-us Gunnii, Hook. f. ; Phyllanthus Gunnii, Hook. f. ; 
Pimelea Gunnii, Flook. f.=P. cinerea, R. Br. ; Sarco- 
chilus Gunnii, F. v. M.-=S. parviflorus, Lindl. ; ApheHa 
Gunnii, Hook. f.^rA. gracilis. Sond. ; Carex Gunniana, 
Boott. ; Cladium Gunnii, Hook. f. ; Cyperus Gunnii, 
Hook. f. ; Danthonia Gunniana, Xees— D. racemosa, R. 
Br. var. pencillata; Echinopogon Gunnianus, Nees= 
Deyeuxia Gunniana, Benth. ; Hymenophyllum Gunnii, 
Bosch.-^H. rarum, Br.; Isoetes Gunnii, A. Br.:=(?);. 
Isolepis Gunnii, Steud.=:=Scirpus inundatus, Spreng. ; 
Juncus Gunnii, Hook, f.— =( ?) ; Lepidosperma Gunnii 
Boeckel.=L. lineare, R. Br. ; Microlaena Gunnii, Hook, 
f.— iM. stipoides, R. Br. ; Scirpus Gunnii, Boeckelz=rS. 
cartilagineus, Spreng. var. alpina. 

HANNAFORD, SAMUEL (1828-1874)- 

Victorian and Tasmanian botanist. Resident both 
of Launceston and Hobart. Born at Totnes, Devon- 
shire; died at Hobart, 3rd January, 1874. 

He emigrated to Melbourne in 1853 ; became at once 
an honorary coadjutor of Mueller in \'ictorian botany. 
He resided in Warrnambool in 1855 and 1856, then re- 


:moved to Geelong till 1863. For a time he edited the 
*' Victorian Agricultural and Horticultural Gazette." He 
"became editor of the " Launceston Times," and in 1868 
removed to Hobart. In 1870 he was librarian of the 
Public Library there. 

He industriously botanised for nearly the whole of 
his residence in Australia, sending largely to Mueller. 
Some of his specimens have fallen into my hands, and 
the labels show him to l)e most neat in his methods and 
scientifically accurate in his details. Mueller named the 
genus Hannafordia (Sterculiaceae) after him. 

He co-operated with the Rev. John Fereday in col- 
lecting algae at the Tamar Heads, Tasmania, for 
Harvey, who in his " Phycologia Australica " figured 
Ptilota (?) Hannafordi, Harv. 

He published four works — viz., " Flora Tottoniensis 
— Flowering plants and ferns ... of Totnes " (Totnes, 
185 1); "Jottings in Australia, or Notes on the Flora 
■and Fauna of \lctoria " (1856); "Sea and Riverside 
Rambles " (i860); "The Wild Flowers of Tasmania, or 
"Chatty Rambles Afioat and Ashore Amidst the Sea- 
weeds, Ferns, and Flowering Plants, with a Complete 
List of Indigenous Ferns and Instructions for their 
•Cultivation " (8vo., pp. 188, 1866). 

The last three works were published in Melbourne. 
See also (7). 

HARRAP, E. D. ( ). 

There is a paper by him entitled "' Observations on 
Desmidiaceae, with a List of Species found in Tas- 
mania " (this Journ., 1868, p. 19). There is also a paper 
■on Fluke, and another on Phyllactidum, in the 1869 
volume. I know nolhing further of this botanist. 


The celebrated Algologist, who visited Tasmania in 
1855. There are papers by him on the Algae of Tas- 
:mania in " Tasm. Journ. ii., 377, 421 (1846), and iii. 54, 
.153, 209 (1849). 

I have dealt '.with his work at some length in (5). 



He is spoken of in 1849 ^^ '" ^^^e Superintendent of 
the Aborigines " (see Blue-book, " Papers relative to 
Crown Lands hi the Australian Colonies," Part ii., 
185 1). 

Resided at one time at Port x^rthur. Harvey speaks 
of having received from him a number of interesting 
Algae and the genus Jeannarettia, Hook, fil., et Harv. 
was dedicated to him. See Harvey's " Nereis Aus- 

Harvey also speaks of him as '' an investigator of 
the botany of Tasmania," and figures in his " Pliyco- 
logia Australica," Jeannerebtia lobata, Hook, f., and 
Harv. and Ptilota Teanerettii, Harv. 

de (I755-IS34)- 

He was botanist to the expedition in search of La 
Perouse in command of Captain d'Entrecasteaux, whose 
ships were the " Recherche " and '" L'Esperance." He 
was in Tasmania in 1792, and many Tasmanian plants 
were figured in his " Novae Hollandise plantarum speci- 
men " (Paris, 1804-06). 

It is my intention to publish a separate account of 
the French botanists w*ho advanced Australian botany. 


Died at Formosa, Tasmania, on i8tli October, 1833, 
aged 26 years (the anniversary of his birth). 

" He led me (Gunn) to conmience the study of 
botany." J. G. Robertson, who was manager of For- 
mosa (see 8) was doubtless influenced in his botanical 
studies by Lawrence. 

'■ In 1826 Mr. Robert William Lawrence, a settler in Tas- 
mania, commenced exploring the northern parts of that island 
and forming collections, which were communicated to Sir W. 
Hooker up till 1832, when he died. Some of these plants were 
published in the ' Companion to the Botanical Magazine,' 
' Journal of Botany.' ' Icones Plantarum.' and elsewhere." (2) 

BY J. H. MAIDEN, F.L.S. 21 

See " Contributions Towards a Flora of Van Die- 
tmen's Land, from Collections sent by R. W. Lawrence, 
Ronald Gunn, and Thomas Scott, Esqs." (" Comp. 
B'Ot. Mag." i., 272.) I have also the reference to a 
paper b}- Lawrence " On the Flora of the "Western 
Mountains of Van Diemen's Land " (" Bot. Miscel- 
laneous," 2 vols., 1825-1844), ibut I have not been able 
to trace the work. See also (6). 

Fie is commemorated by the following species : — 

Correa Lawrenciana, Hook ; Cryptandra Lawrencii, 
Hook, f.:=:Spryidium Lawrencii, Benth. ; Sida Law- 
rencea, F. v. M.-^Plagianthus spicatus, Benth. ; Heli- 
chrysum Lawrencella, F. v. M. ; Monemios Lawrencii, 
Hook. f.=zr:Microseris Forsteri, Hook. f. ; Pterygo- 
pappis Lawrencii, Flook. f; Scorzonera Lawrencii, 
Hook, f.— rrMicroseris Forsteri, Hook. f. ; Libertia Law- 
rencii, Hook. f.=L. pulchella, Spreng. ; Podocarpus 
Lawrencii, Hook. f.-T-_P. alpina, Br. ; Orthotrichum Law- 
rencei, Mitt (a moss). 


Was for some time in Tasmania as a Government 
Medical Ofificer, and made botanical observations in 
that colony, and also in New South Wales. See (2). 

MEREDITH, LOUISA ANN, Mrs. (nee Twamley), 
(1812- ). 

Born at Hampstead, near Birmingham, on 20th Julv, 

On 1 8th April, 1839, married her cousin, Charles 
Meredith, and shortly afterwards came out with him to 
the Meredith home at " Cambria," near Swansea, Tas- 
mania, now rich in historical associations. 

The father of John Meredith, Esq., brother-in-law 
of the above of " Cambria," whose hospitality I enjoyed 
some years ago, was the first white man to land on the 
adjacent beach in 1821 or 1822. 

She was the author of " My Home in Tasmania," 
with landscape illustrations by the Bishop of Tasmania 
(Dr. Nixon) and the author ; " Some of My Bush 


Friends in Tasmania " (i860}, a large and elaborate 
work on the flora of the colan)^ with numerous coloured' 
plates from the author's drawings. In 1891 was pub- 
lished a second series of " Bush Friends in Tasmania." 
She was a voluminous writer, and published many other 
works, which are enumerated in (7). 

She did much to advance a knowledge of Tas- 
manian plants by contrit)uting coloured drawings of 
them to many internationa4 exhibitions. She was made 
an honorary member of this Society. 

MILLIGAN, JOSEPH (1807-1883). .' ' 

Born in Du'mfriesshire ; M.R.C.S.E. 1829; was ap- 
pointed surgeon to Van Diemen's Land Co.'s estab- 
lishment at Surrey Hills in 1830. 

Became Superintendent of the Aborigines, and 
visited their establishment at Flinders Island in 1843 > 
remained in charge till 1855, superintending the re- 
moval of the aborigines from Flinders Island to Oyster- 
Cove in 1848. He left Tasmania in i860. 

" Dr. Joseph Milligan, of Hobarton (now Secretary to the 
Royal Society of Hobarton), has, since the year 1834, Aasited 
many parts of Tasmania, and made several most interesting dis- 
coveries, especially on its loftiest mountains and East Coast."' 

He Avas one of the founders of this Society, and its 
Secretary from 1844 to i860. He was considerable 
authority on the aborigines of Tasmania. A list of his 
papers will be found at p. 24 of Morton's Register of 
Papers in the " Tas. Journ. and Roy. Soc."' 

His " Vocabulary of Dialects of the Aboriginal 
Tribes of Tasmania " is reprinted in Brough Smyth's 
"Aborigines of Victoria" ii., 415-433. 

He Avrote chiefly on the a'borig-ines, meteorology,, 
and zoo-log}-. He was employed by Governor Sir Wil- 
liam Denison, in the interval of other duties, in making 
surveys and reports on some of the numerous coal-fields 
on the 'island. (See Blue-book. '' Papers relative to 
Crown Lands in the Australian Colonies." p. 1.25. 185 1.) 
There is a paper by him " On some Fossil Plants Found 
near Hobart Town and Launceston " ("Tas. Journ. iii.,. 
131, 1849.) -^^ ^^^s a most assiduous observer of Tas- 
manian plants, and collected largely. 

BY J. H. MAIDEN, F.L.S. 23: 

He is commemorated by the following species: — 

Eucryphia Milligani, Hook. f.:=rE. Billiardieri, Spacli. 
var. Milligani ; Helichrysum Milligani, Hook. f. ; Cy- 
stanthe Milligani, Hook. f.^?:Pilitis Milligani, Hook. f.= 
Richea Milligani, F. v. M. ; Dracophyllum Milligani, 
Hook. f. ; Hakea Millagin, Meissn.:=H. epiglottis,. 
Labill. ; Orites Milligani, Meissn. ; Dendrobium Milli- 
gani, F. V. M.— rD. striolatum, Reichb. ; Pimelea Milli- 
gani, Meissn. 

MUELLER. FERDINAND von (1825-1896). 

Mueller contributed largely to the botany of Tas- 
mania, but he was an Australian botanist, by no means 
confining his energies to one State. An account of his 
work will therefore be found in (5). 

NELSON, DAVID ( ^-1789). 

Was a Kew gardener, and became Collector on 
CjDok's Third Voyage (1776-80), H.M.S.S. " Resolu- 
tion " and " Discovery." 

Captain Clerke writes to Banks: — "Your man Nel- 
son is one of the quietest fellows in nature ; he seems 
very attentive, and, I hope, will answer your purpose 
very well. . . . He has made a trip up the country here 
with Gore," 

H.M.S. " Discovery," Cape of Good" Hope, 23rd 
November, 1776.* 

From a letter at p. 406 it is evident that Banks paid 
Nelson's expenses. 

Cook visited Adventure Bay, Southern Tasmania, 
in January, 1777, and a considerable collection of plants 
■ was made by Nelson and Mr. William Anderson, sur- 
geon of the " Resolution ;" these plants are now in the 
British Museum. He here collected twigs of a plant 
which were taken to Europe, and described by L'Heri- 
tier as Eucalyptus. 

He was afterwards botanical collector in H.M.S. 
."Bounty," 1787, under Captain Bligh, when that ship 

Hist. Rec. of N.S.W., i. (I.), 405. 


sailed for Tahiti to transport bread-fruit trees to the 
West Indies. 

Bhgh reported to Banks*, "' Bounty," Spithead, 5th 
November, 1787: — 

" The conduct of Nelson, the gardener, is very satisfactory." 

He was one of those sent adrift by the Mutineers of 
the Bounty, and eventually died of the exposuret, and 
of fever at Coepang, Timor, 20th June, 1789. Bligh 
says of him — 

" Whose good conduct in the course of the whole voyage and 
manly fortitude in our late disastrous circumstances deserves 
this tribute to his memory." 

In dedicating the genus Nelsonia, of the Acantha- 
eeae, to his memory, Robert Brown (" Prodromus ") 
says : — 

" Dixi in memoriam Davides Nelson, Hortulani meritissimi 
qui in ultimo itinere Cookii plurimas novas species plantarum 
primus legit, postea vero expeditioni priori Cel. Navarchi Bligh 
adjunctus. in insula Timor occubuit."' 

His Australian, Cape, and Timor plants are in the 
British ]Museum (6). See also '' Gardeners' Chronicle," 
1881, ii., 267. 


Died at the Botanical Gardens, Llobart, 23rd 
August, 1859, aged 63. He came from Sydney, and 
had been in charge since 1847. Buried at St. George's 
Cemetery (in the vault of Mr. H. Lipscombe, 27th 

Lie was the immicdiate predecessor of Francis 
Abbott at the Botanical Gardens, Hobart. 


Born in London 12th January, 1820 ; died in Lon- 
don 22nd May, 1887. His death was reported to this 
Society on 15th August following; see the Hobart 
" Mercury " of the next day. 

* Hist. Rec. of N.S.W., i. (2), 117. 
t See also " Kew Bull.," 1891, 297. 

BY J. H. MAIDEN, F.L.S. 25 

His brother, Air. E. D. Oldfield, kept a commercial 
school in Hobart for many years, and gave his brother's 
herbarium to Kew after his death. 

He made extensive collections in Tasmania for 
Mueller and others (see " Fragmenta"), and a brief ac- 
count of his researches in Western Australia will be 
found in (9). 

" Mr. Augustus Frederick Oldfield. one of the early scien- 
tific investigators of Tasmania and Australia, died in London 
on May 22. He had been afflicted with blindness for nearly 20 
years, consequent upon the fatigue, privations, and exposure 
incident to his wonderful feats of pedestrianism in the pursuit 
of his favourite study — botany. The new plant was to him a 
greater prize than the discovery of gold, and in his search for 
such he was most indefatigable, both in Tasmania and Aus- 
tralia; but some 20 years since his health became impaired and 
his sight, aft'ected. He went to London for treatment, but with- 
out avail, and he soon lost his sight altogether — a sad state, 
mdeed, for one whose sole pleasures in life were dependent 
upon vision. However, though unable as an author to per- 
petuate the extensive knowledge he had acquired, he most un- 
selfishly placed it at the disposal of those in a position to make 
it available in the world of science, as is testified to by Dr. 
Hooker, as President of the Royal Society, who, in supporting 
the claim of the now deceased to some substantial recognition 
of unrequited scientific labours, culminating in so sad an afflic- 
tion as blindness, says:' — ' I have known Mr. Augustus Oldfield 
for nearly 20 years as a most active, able, industrious, and 
trustworthy naturalist, and especially botanist, whose disin- 
terested labours and collections have thrown great lights on 
the flora of many distant, and some of them previously wholly 
unexplored, districts of Australia. I should add that the libe- 
rality with which he has dealt with the materials he collected 
is beyond all praise. He gave specimens and information of 
the most valuable description to public institutions, wherever 
they were likely to be of use, without return of any kind, and 
placed his knowledge at the disposal of naturalists in the most 
enlightened manner. To the Flora of Tasmania his labours were 
most important, and I am indebted to him for much valuable 
aid, as the supplement of that work especially shows. I can 
truly say that I know of no case of modest worth of heart, 
hand, and head more deserving of public recognition by the 
Governments of Australia than that of Mr. Augustus Oldfield." 
The above testimony notwithstanding, as well as that of Baron 
von Mueller in" a similar strain, failed to secure any such re- 
cognition as desired, though application for it was made to the 
Government of Tasmania. Some of the iournej^s performed by 
the deceased in his scientific investigations, alone . and afoot, 
were not unattended with danger at a time when many abo- 
rigines were still in possession of their native home — the bush. 
However, by tact, he in some way placated them, and, although 
sometimes threatened, he was never in any way harmed. This 
was particularly the case when walking from Sydney to ]Mel- 


bourne, some 40 years ago. and a few years subsequently from 
King George's Sound towards Adelaide, and again from Perth 
to North-Western AustraHa, where for a year or so he mixed 
freely with the natives, acquiring much knowledge 01 their 
language and habits, which formed the subject of a paper read 
before the Ethnological Society. London." (Melbourne 
" Argus," July 13, 1887.) 


" Dr. Thomas Scott collected in Tasmania, and 
transmitted specimens to Sir W. Hooker aJDOiit 1835 "' 

He was a collector of plants with Lawrence and 
Gnnn. (See " Comp. Bot. Mag. i,, 272.) 

I have no further particulars concerning him, and 
no species seems to have been dedicated to him. 


Mr. Sharland was a Government Surveyor, and ex- 
plored much of Western Tasmania in the early days. 
On the 8th March, 1832, he discovered Lake St. Clair, 
and subsequently examined the country as far as 
Frenchman's Cap. On returning from his survey tour 
he used to bring specimens of the flora for botanical 
friends, but did not himself collect. Mrs. Sharland 
made large collections of algae near the mouth of the 

She collected before Prof. Harvey's advent to these 
shores, for her collection of Tasmanian sea-weeds, sent 
to the International Exhibition of 185 1, was awarded a 
bronze medal. The specimens were collected at Kelso, 
in the north. 

" She was the daughter of Major Schaw, who served 
in the Peninsular War, and, after retiring from the 
Army was Police Magistrate at Richmond, Tasmania, 
for many years. 

" She was, I believe, born at Jamaica, in the West 
Indies, 1813, and died at George Town, Tasmania,. 

The Rev. F. B. Sharland, son of the above, has 
kindly furnished most of the above particulars. 

BY J. H. MAIDEN, F.L.S. 2/ 

SMITH, CHARLOTTE, nee .... ( ). 

Mrs. Charlotte Smith, of Circular Head, Tasmania, 
collected algae for Harvey, and Polyphacmn Smithiae, 
Hook, fil., et Harv. was named in her honour. 

JOHN GRANT SMITH, also early collectors of the 
Tasmanian flora, I can trace no 'particulars, nor of 
SMITH, McDonald ( ), -• Collector of 

Algae " (2). 

SPICER, M.A., RE,V. W. W. (=^-1879). 

Formerly a member of Council of this Society, and 
in April, 1878 (" Proc. Roy. Soc. Tas.," 1878, p. 4), he 
was elected a Corresponding Member on the eve, of his 
departure for England, a special resolution of the 
Council being conveyed to him. 

He was the author of a meritorious " Handbook of 
the Plants of Tasmania " (Hobart, 1878) on the dichoto- 
mous system. Lie wrote both on botanical and eco- 
nomic entomology for the Proceedings of this Society. 
See papers on " Ergot " in the volume for 1877, p. 75, 
and on " Alien Plants," containing a list of Tasmanian 
aliens in the same volume, p. 62. 

Mr. Spicer did a great deal of botanical work in 
England before he came to Tasmania, but it is not on 
record here. After his return to England he became 
Rector of Itchen Abbas, near Winchester, where he died 
about 1879. 

Helichrvsum Spiceri was named after him bv 


Born at Carlisle, England, 4th June, 1800. Died at 
Kelvedon, near Swansea, Tasmania, 7th June, 1887. 

His father was a contemporary of John Wesley, and 
one of his itinerant preachers ; he was a Doctor of 
Divinity, and in after years head of the printing estab- 
lishment of the Wesleyans. G. F. Story was born when 
his father was 60 years old, and became a Friend, like 
his schoolfellow and old friend, Francis Cotton. 


He was educated at the ]\Iarisclial College, Aber- 
deen, and was apprenticed to Dr. George French in 
1819 for three years, going .through the nie:dical course.' 
He studied botany under Prof. Henderson. He ob- 
tained the degree of ASl. in 1S20. 

Going to Edinburgh in 182 1, he continued his 
medical studies. Botany he studied under Prof. 
Graham. He attended at the Edinburgh Infirmary for 
■one year (1824), and the degree of Doctor of Medicine 
was conferred on him the same year. 

He was in private practice in London from 1825 to 

Coming to Aan Diemen's Land, he was appointed 
District Assistant Surgeon for the district of Great 
S'wanport (Waterloo Point) in April, 1829. He was in 
charge of the Rocky Hills Probation Station, but prac- 
tically lived at Kelvedon for the remainder of his life. 
Both Mr. Edwin Cotton and Mrs. Francis Abbott in- 
form me that be was in charge of the Royal Society's 
Gardens, Hobart, before Mr. Newman's arrival in 1847. 
In 1843 the members of the Tasmanian and Horticul- 
tural Societies had determined to form a garden. The 
Botanical Gardens were originally part of Government 
House Gardens, surrendered by Sir John Franklin when 
the Tasmanian and Horticultural Societies combined to 
found the Royal Society. 

He is buried on the property of Edward O. Cotton, 
of Kelvedon, Swansea, a relative, whose hospitality I 
•enjoyed some years ago when I visited Swansea in my 
search for particulars of Dr. Story and to collect where 
Dr. Story collected, for he was an enthusiastic botanist. 
He collected largelv for Mueller. 

.STUART, CHARLES (1802-1877). 

Born in England ; died at Parramatta, X.S.W., Sep- 
tember, 1877, ^'""^^ ^"^'^^ buried in the Church of England 
Cemetery there. This most meritorious botanist col- 
lected &ea-weeds largely at Southport for Harvey 
(Phycologia Australica). Harvey figured Areschougia 
Stuartii, Harv., named in his honour. He states : — 
^' Mr. Stuart's meritorious explorations of Australian 

BY J. H. MAIDEN, F.L.S. 2g^ 

botany, both marine and terrestrial, ^worthily entitle him 
to the compliment gratefully bestowed on him in the 
specific name." 

Stuart collected largely in New South Wales, and I 
have given an account of his botanical work in the re- 
cord of the botanists of that State (5), to which I beg 
to refer my readers. That record includes a list of the 
Tasmanian plants named after him. He was a most 
accurate and careful observer, and his plants, most of 
which are in the National Herbarium, Melbourne, have 
labels which show him to have been a critical observer 
and an educated man with a very neat handwriting. 

Through Miss Jessie Smith, of the Kurrajong-, 
N.S.W., I have learnt the following additional particu- 
lars concerning Mr. Stuart : — -Her father, the late Mr. 
Charles Heath Smith, met him in Tenterfield, N.S.W.,_ 
in 1875, and employed him as a gardener at Guildford, 
N.S.W., until his death. He was a trained gardener,, 
and well vegrsed in astronomy as well as botany. He 
was employed by a Mr. Brown, in Tasmania, for part 
of his stay there. 

I have seen a letter from Mueller to Mr. Heath 
Smith, dated 3rd August, 1877, in which he said that 
he met Mr. Stuart in Adelaide 30 years ago^ — that was. 
immediatelv after Mueller's arrival in x\ustralia. 

(PLATE IV.) ^ 

By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 
(Read Alay 3rd, 1909.) 

There is "hardly an account of the Aborigines of Tas- 
mania in which the use of red ochre is not mentioned. 
Captain Cook, in the description of his third voyage, 
already states that the Aborigines smeared their hair 
and beard with, a mixture of grease and red ochre. Later 
observers who came in contact wath the Aborigines 
noticed the same. The old oil paintings in our Museum 
represent the male Aborigines as wearing a kind of red 
wig", composed of long corkscrew-like ringlets (i). We 
may therefore take it as granted that it was a favourite 
custom with the Aborigines to rub a mixture of grease 
-and red ochre into the bair ; and further, that this custom 
was strictly limited to the males. Nowhere is it men- 
tioned that the females followed the same habit, though 
they frequently painted their face black with charcoal. 
The hair clotted with red ochre was strictly a male 
adornment, and it is very probable that the custom of 
the females wearing their hair closely cropped resulted 
from the desire to prevent them following the example 
of their masters. 

When examining the camping grounds my attention 
was soon drawn to pieces of red iron ore lying about, 
■and, after collecting a number, I noticed that several 
exhibited intensive signs of being used. The first speci- 
mens I found on the camping ground. Old Beach; 
others I found near Melton-Mowbray, Devonport, etc. ; 
but the largest number and the largest piece I found 
near Baskerville and Winton, on the Macquarie River. 

(i) This is most conspicuous in the painting representing a 
group of Aborigines now in the Launceston ^luseum. All the 
males have the hair clotted with red ochre, while the females 
wear it closely cropped and in its natural colour. 


Specimens of red ochre are by no means common. 
This is rather remarkable considering its frequent use. 
For instance, so far I have found only a single piece 
near Mona Vale, though to judge from the number of 
tronattas left this must have been a much-used camping- 
ground. Altogether I found 17 pieces, whidh cannot be 
considered a large number. 

I have not been able to examine the specimens 
■chemically, but the n^acroscopical examination is suffi- 
cient to prove that the red ochre must be a ferruginous 
substance. All specimens are strongly adhesive to the 
tongue ; in other words, they absorb water readily, and 
are therefore hygroscopic. When broken they show an 
inner core of black colour, covered by a crust of in- 
tensely red colour. The thickness of the red crust varies, 
but so far I have not found any specimens in which it 
exceeds ]/i^ indhi of thickness. These observations prove 
that the red ochre represents an iron ore, probably 
lini'onite (2 Fe203+3H20), but also that the natural 
mineral has undergone a certain change, by which some 
of the water was removed. The dark brown natural 
colour of the limonite is superficially changed into a 
blood-red colour. The naturally non-hygroscopic 
limonite has been turned into a hygroscopic substance. 
The only way of producing such a change is by expos- 
ing the mineral to heat — in other words, by roasting it. 
That this view is correct is conclusively proved by the 
examinations of the specimens, all of which are more or 
less fire cracked. 

We have therefore ascertained the important fact 
that the red ochre as used by the Aborigines is not a 
natural, but an artificial produce, being the result of 
roasting certain suitable iron ores in the fire. 

The Aborigines had therefore already made an in- 
vention, which indicates a certain amount of logical 
reasoning. They discovered that when a certain heavy 
stone of dark colour is intensely heated, its surface 
changes into a red earthy substance. This invention 
may have been made accidentally, but it certainly shows 
a certain amount of observation, resulting in the subse- 
quent extensive use of this red earthy substance instead 
■of the material originally used for ornamental purposes. 


Now. all the specimens show that the red oxide of 
iron resulting from roasting was subsequently removed, 
but not as we would suppose by either crushing the 
whole specimen or by grinding, but by scraping the 
roasted pieces. The red crust was scraped off by means 
of a tronatta, and the traces left behind by this operation 
are. most chraracteristic. They consist in a number of 
parallel, short scratches, which might almost be com- 
pared to the scratches of ice-worn boulders. The ap- 
pearance of the specimens, the curved scratched surface, 
sometimes exhibiting faces like a crystal, conclusively 
proves that the red crust cannot have been removed by 
grinding, but must have been taken off by scraping. 

The question how the red ochre was removed from 
the roasted piece of iron ore is of some importance. It 
has generally been assumed that the so-called " mor- 
tiers " of Europe were nothing else but a kind of palette 
for grinding colours, in particular red ochre. Similar 
" mortiers " have been found in Tasmania, and I possess 
two typical specimens from Melton-Mow^bray. The ap- 
pearance of all the pieces of red ochre conclusively 
proves that the colour was removed by scraping, and 
not by grinding ; the hypothesis that this peculiar kind 
of stones served as palettes is no longer tenable. 

We may therefore assume that the Aborigines first 
roasted a suitable piece of iron ore, and afterwards 
scraped off the roasted crust, mixing the powder with 
grease, and then rubbed the whole mixture well into 
the hair, where it eventually dried, forming the peculiar 
ringlets which were the chief adornment of the " pug- 
gana " (i). 

And iw'liat may be the origin of this peculiar custom ? 
Strzelecki assumes that it was done to prevent the gene- 
ration of vermin ; but if this is correct, why did only the 
men and not the women resort to it? I think Ling 
Roth is quite justified in refuting this somewhat illogical 
theor}^, but he offers no other explanation. Perhaps the 
following hypothesis may be nearer the mark : — • 

The Tasmanian word for red ochre is ba-la-wine, 
which literally translated means " blood." The Tas- 
manian smeared " blood " on his hair, though this blood 

(i) Adult Aborigine. 


Avas no longer actual blood, but a powder resembling 
in colour to blood. We have here probably a kind of 
in colour to blood. We have here probably a kind 
of symbolical act, the last remains of a custom going 
the blood of the vanquished enemy on his own head. It 
would lead us away from the subject of this paper to 
discuss the various, sometimes uncanny, rites in wfhich 
the blood of the vanquished enemy plays an impor- 
tant role. But if this view be correct, the primitive Tas- 
manian civilisation must already represent a type higher 
than that when actual blood was used instead of red 
ochre. Observations like this, which now and then lift 
the thick veil which covers the early history of the 
human race, make us shudder to think what miserable 
wretches those human beings must have been, compared 
to which the primitive Tasmanian represented a high 
state of civilisation. 

The following words are given in the vocabularies 
of the Tasmanian language for " hair clotted with red 
ochre : — 

(a) Ringlets (Corkscrews, with Red Ochre). 

Eastern Tribes — Pow-ing-arooteleebana. 

Southern Tribes — Poeena. 

West and North-West Tribes — Poenghana. 

(b) Hair (Matted with Odhre). 

Eastern Tribes — Poinghana. 
Southern Tribes — Poeena. 

All these words are practically the same, particularly 
if we consider that the suffix, " arooteleebana," means 
nothing but the enhancement of the good qualities of 
the first word (i). We may therefore take it that 

Poi-ngha-na or 
means hair matted with red ochre. 

Now we find under the heading Shave to (with 
flint), in Milligan's vocabulary, the following words : — 
Eastern Tribes — Poyngha runn yale. 
Southern Tribes — Poynghate rana yale. 

(i) Without going into further details I cannot explain thi.s,. 
but in another paper I will give sufificient proof for this view. 


The operation of shaving by means of a flint is here 
unqitestionably expressed b}' two words, and it rather 
seems a puzzle to find an explanation for this. If we, 
however, write the second expression in the following 
way — 

this problem takes at once a different shape. Terana is 
undoubtedly the word teroona-trona-trowa, which we 
know stands for stone implement (flint). 

The verbal translation is therefore 

Poyngha — ^Hair, matted with red ochre. 
Terana — Flint. 
Yale— (?). 

That is to say, the hair matted with red ochre (is re- 
moved by means of a) flint. It would be very simple if 
the still doubtful word " yale " would represent the verb, 
and simply mean " cut " or " removed," but this inter- 
pretation is more than doubtful, because yale occurs 
rather in a peculiar way in connection with other words, 
which make such a conjecture untenable. In conjunc- 
tion with the words " noan," " loan," — "' stone," it must 
represent a particular kind of stone, and the question is, 
will we be able to fix on its meaning? 

We know that the Northern and North-western 
tribes called the freestone ponin-galee ; we have there- 




and this seems to indicate that the " poingha " was 
shaved wifh a particular kind of flint, the " terana-yale," 
and if we were able to translate the word " yale," not 
■only would we hav'e explained the meaning of the words 
in question, but we would have ascertained a further 
most important point, namely, that the shaving the 
matted hair was done with a special kind of flint. 

We find that under the heading freestone the follow- 
ing words occur: — 

Eastern Tribes — Boatta or potha malleetye. 

Southern Tribes — Potta mallya. 

North and Western Tribes — Ponin galee. 


I do not think that there can be the sHghtest doubt that 
the words used by the Eastern and Southern tribes are 
practically the same, and that freestone was called 
Potta-malle(ea) — (mali). 

In going through the vocabulary, we find under the 
lieading " White," 

Eastern Tribes — Malleetye. 
Southern Tribes — Mallee or Malluah. 

Xorth and Western Tribes — Mugyanghgarrah. 
It is therefore unquestionable that 

Potta malee(tye) 
means a white or whitish rock. This fully agrees with 
the appearance of the freestone, which is a sandstone of 
light yellowish, frequently almost whitish, colour (i). 
There is not the slightest reason to assume that the 
"''freestone" of the Western and North-Western tribes 
was different from that which occurs in the Southern 
and Eastern parts of the island. Though somewhat dif- 
ferent in spelHng, I have no doubt that 

Ponin galee and potta malee 
are exact!}" the same ; in other words, that " galee " of 
the Western and North-Western tribes is the 

of the Eastern and Southern tribes, and means " white." 

I do not think that there can be much doubt as to 
the identity of the words 

Galee and yale(e), 
and if this be so 

" Terana yale " 
would mean " white flint." 

The complete verbal translations would therefore 

Poyngha — Hair, matted with red ochre. 
Terana — Flint. 
Yale — White. 

and the operation which Milligan freely translated as 
*' to shave with a flint " would be expressed by the above 
three words. 

(i) For instance, in the quarries near Austin's Ferry. 


Now, it will at once be seen t'hat, according to the 
position of the word " wfhite," two quite different inter- 
pretations of the above words are possible. 

If we assume that " vale " was the attribute of 
" terana," the translation would be — 

(The) hair matted with red ochre (is cut with a) white 

and this would prove that the important, and probably 
also painful, operation of removing (cutting or shaving) 
the hair thickly clotted with red ochre was carried out 
by means of a special kind of flint — a white flint to whit. 

Another interpretation is, however, possible if the 
word " yale " is not an attribute of " terana." We may 
then read it as follows : — 

(The) hair matted with red ochre (with a) flint (was 
made) white. 

Now, it is hardly surprising that in the Tasmanian 
language the same word is used to denote " white " and 
" clean." What is white is clean, and what is clean is 
white. The primitive Tasmanian language knew not the 
fine distinctions of our highly-developed one, and we 
may therefore read the above as follows : — 

(The) hair matted with red ochre (with a) flint (was 
made) clean (i). 

Though we succeeded in giving a literal translation 
of the words which Milligan presumed to mean "ta 
shave with a flint," the true meaning of these words is 
by no means certain, and open to two widely different 
interpretations, and it has to be examined which is the 
more probable one. 

At the end of his vocabulary Milligan gives a number 
of short sentences, which are of the utmost value. 
Among these we find — 

He cuts his hair with flint — Tuggana pugheranymee 

(i) Of course we may also substitute tiie word "clean" for 
"white" in the first translation; but here the alteration does 
not produce such a change in the meaning. I suppose it mat- 
tered little whether the flint used was clean or dirt}', though it 
would matter considerably whether it was " black " or " white." 


Ling Roth has already remarked, and nobody can 
fail to note this, that IMilligan's translations are some- 
what free, and it is almost certain that this applies with 
some force to the above sentence. 

Notwithstanding the different spelling, we recognise 
in the first word — 
Tugga-na — 
the Tasmanian word for a grown-up (adult) man, and 
the last word represents our well-known trowatta, the 
stone implement. We have therefore 

Pagga-na — the adult man (black) 
Pugheranymee — ( ?) 
Trautta — flint. 

Of course, the use of the impersonal, " the adult 
black man," instead of the personal pronoun, " he," sig- 
nifies nothing". But what did he do with the trautta ? If 
Milligan's translation were correct 

" Pugheranymee " 

must mean " to cut the hair," considering that we have 
accounted for the first and last word. This conjecture 
is,, perhaps, rather hazardous. Whether clotted with 
red ochre or not, " hair " is represented by the words — 

Eastern Tribes — Poing-lyenna, 

Southern Tribes — Poiete-longwinne, 

but it is impossible to recognise this word in the above. 
It rather seems as- if " pugheranymee," if divested of 
the unnecessary suffix, is a kind of plural of the singular 
pugga-na. However that may be, it is certain that Milli- 
gan's translation cannot be correct. The adult black 
man does something with a flint, but he certainly does 
not cut his own hair (i). The second word rather seems 
to suggest that the " black man " does something with 
his flint for his brethren. Could it be accepted that this 
something was " hair cutting," the first view, namely, 
that " vale " was an attribute of " terana," and that a 

(i) It may be remarked here that, if analysed, Ivliihgan's 
sentence seems to be somewhat hazj^ Is it probable that an 
Aborigine would have cut his own hair with his own hands 
with a flint? It is more than probable that somebody else per- 
formed the operation for him than he himself. 


" white " flint was essential, seems untenable, because 
in this sentence a " trautta " plain and simple is used^ 
and not a " terana vale." 

There is another consideration : all authors agree 
that the Aborigines thought the hair clotted with ochre 
as a great ornament — in fact, that it was the usual, ex- 
clusive male adornment. According to Bonwick, a re- 
bellion nearly burst out on Flinders Island, whence the 
remnant of the Tasmanians had been removed, when 
orders were once issued forbidding the use of ochre and 
grease. Now, is it possible that, considering the great 
value an Aborigine placed on his head ornament, that 
he would have voluntarily removed it by shaving? The 
w^omen had the hair of their head closely cropped, but 
the men never followed this custom, at least there is 
no record that they ever did it. It is therefore very 
probable that Milligan's sentence, " He cuts his hair 
with a flint," is intrinsically wrong, because there is 
every probability that the pagga-na, the adult Abo- 
rigine, never did such a thing either to himself or to his 

It further follows that the translation " to shave with 
a flint " is also not quite correct, because the word 
" poingha " applies to hair clotted with red ochre, there- 
fore to a male, and not to a female, whose hair was 
habitually cropped. 

We must therefore assume that the words 
Poyngha — hair, clotted with red ochre. 
Terana — flint, 
Yale — white, 

really mean to clean (make white) the hair clotted with 
red ochre with a flint. No doubt that such an operation 
became necessary now and then, in order to give a fresh 
application of the valued mixture. There is equally no 
doubt that a good deal of the hair was involuntarily re- 
moved during this probably painful operation, and the 
Europeans who witnessed it thought this to be the ob- 
ject, and not the removal of the red ochre, and in want 
of a better word thev described it as " shaving with a 

Roy. Soc. Tasm., 1909. 

Pl. IV. 


(PLATES v., VI.) 

By L. RobwAY, Government Botanist. 

(Read 14th June, 1909.) 

We have in Tasmania representatives of only two- 
genera belonging to this family, Oenothera and Epilo- 
bium. Of the first genus we have only one species. It 
is a small herib of very restricted distribution, and was 
described by Sir J. D. Hooker in the Flora Tasmaniae. 
It was gathered by R. Gunn in marshy land about Marl- 
borough in 1841, and does not appear to have been re- 
corded since till the early part of this year, when it was 
found by G. Weindorfer and Dr. Sutton in the vicinity 
of Middlesex Plains. It is confined to the western por- 
tion of Tasmania, and neither it nor any other native 
member of the genus has yet been recorded from Aus- 
tralia or New Zealand. Bentham considered this species 
to be very close to, if not identical with, O. dentata, 
Cav., which is a native of Western America, extending 
from South Chili to California. 

Our plant does not recall the idea of an Oenothera,, 
as the calyx tube is just as short as it is in our Epilo- 
biums, and would be readily taken for a small member 
of that genus, but the fruit and seeds are typical. In 
Hooker's description he gives the colour as purplish, 
but queries it. Bentham unhesitatingly states it as 
yellow. In W'cindorfer's specimens they are all of a pale 
purple pink. The colour is very liable to be lost in 
herbarium material, and it is probable Bentham was 
misled from the prevailing colour of the genus. Th'e 
anatomy appears to strictly conform to the type of the 
family. The cortex is relatively thick and soft, many of 
the cells being packed with acicular raphides. The 
phloem is not gathered in well defined bundles. The 
Xylem is copious in a continuous ring. There is a small 
pith with Intra-xylary phloem. The indumentum con- 
sists only of simple woolly hairs. The dentations of the 
leaves terminate in water-pores. 


In the genus Epilobium we have six fairly well- 
marked forms, and they show an affinity wit'h those of 
New Zealand. Four names other than those here 
adopted appear in standard works, namely, E. tetra- 
gonum, L.— A European plant that probably docs not 
occur south of the equator. It was used to denote most 
of our larger forms before their distinctness from 
northern types Avas recognised. E. alpinum, L. — Some 
of our alpine forms appear identical wit'h this, but it 
may be a coincidence, the two diverge materially in their 
common habitats. The typical form of E. glabellum, 
Forster, has not yet been gathered in Tasmania, though 
the name has been made much use in describing our 
forms. In the Flora Novae Zelandiae Hooker described 
a plant as E. tenuipes. He also grouped under the name 
two of our closely-allied plants, but tihe typical New 
Zealander does not appear to grow here. Our six species 
as here treated are:— 

Ep. pallidiflorum, Sol. 
Ep. Billardierianum, Ser. 
Ep. junceum, Sol. 
Ep. Gunnianum, Haussk. 
Ep. confertifolitmi. Hook, f. 
Ep. Tasmanicum, Flaussk. 

Our E. pallidiflorum conforms to the New Zealand 
type except that its flowers are pink, turning purple when 
dried, instead of white. E. Billardierianum is one of our 
commonest forms. It appears at nearly all altitudes, and 
varies somewhat, but it is the only form wdiose leaf is 
margined with numerous acute, irregular teeth. In the 
Flora Hooker fig-ured our large fl-owered mountain plant 
as this, but even if he wished to include it he was in 
error figuring it as the type. E. junceum is our common 
form in lowland pastures and dr}- places, leaving the 
swamps to the last two. It has the same pale colour, 
due to woolly hairs, that marks the New Zealand plant. 
E. Gunnianum is the name given by Professor Haussk- 
necht to the large floweret plant figured by Hooker. It 
is not a purely alpine species, and when it descends the 
flowers become reduced, but never as muoh so as in E. 
junceum, though it much resembles the latter in the 
leaves, which are bordered by few, remote, rather blunt 
serrations. E. confertifolium is essentially a plant of 


SLib-alpiiie moors. It trails for a few inches on the 
ground, has thick, narrow, oblong, overlapping leaves 
bordered by few teetb; its fruit is dark, glabrous, and 
dumentum on t'he stem and peduncle. It is one of the 
forms included by Hooker in lE. tenuipes. The other is 
E. Tasmanicum, of Haussknecht. This is certainly 
rather close to the last, but the Leaves are broad, entire 
on the margin or nearly so, and always stalked ; the 
fruiting peduncle is very elongated, and the plant is quite 
g-labrous. The appearance is very much that of the 
typical E. tenuipes, only that has very narrow leaves and 
smooth seeds. E. Tasmanicum occurs in New Zealand, 
but it is a rare species, and neither Kirk, Cheeseman, 
nor Haussknecht himself appear cjuite clear as to its 

All our species have broadly clavate stigmas and 
minutely papillose seeds. From descriptions of Epilo- 
bium, students would infer that the sepals are free or 
nearly so; in all our species the calyx is distinctly 
tubular at the base. Petals always notched in the centre. 
For the use of collectors I include a short analysis of 
the plants : — 

Oenothera Tasmanica, Hook, f. Fl. Tas., a small, 
weak, vaguely-branched herb, decumbent or ascending 
not long stalked ; it generally bears a fair amount of in- 
amongst undergrowth, 2 to 4 inches high, slightly 
pubescent, with simple hairs. Leaves mostly opposite, 
narrow, oblong to ovate, of a thin texture, narrowed 
into a very short petiole, obtuse, about ^A inch long, 
bordered by a few small distant serrations. Flowers few, 
single in the axils, nearly sessile, about as long as the 
leaves. Calyx about 2 lines long, the lobes as long as 
the tube, the whole deciduous. Petals purple pink, 
rat'her exceeding the calyx obcordate, inserted at the 
orifice of the tube. .Stamens eight, the four opposite the 
petals shorter than the sepaline ones, arising from the 
base but adherent to the top of the tube : anthers short, 
broadly oblong, minutely apiculate. Capsule about Yi 
inch long, lanceolate, obscurely tetraquetrous, nearly 
sessile, often slightly curved. Seeds minute, hairless, 
obovate, convex externally. 

In wet sub-alpine places. ^larlborough, ^liddlesex 


In these Epilobiiims the calyx has a short tube, the 
lobes are blunt to subacute indifferently, petals con- 
spicuously notched, stigma broadly clavate, mature fer- 
tile seed papillose. 

E. pallidiflorum, Soland., ex A. Gunn, Precurs. n. 550.. 
Simple, erect from a shortly decumbent base, i to 2 feet„ 
young parts delicately pubescent. Leaves opposite, ses- 
sile, lanceolate, narrowed or broad towards the base, i 
to 2 inches long, bordered by small, distant serrations.. 
Flowers in many upper axils, exceeding the leaves. 
Sepals, Yz inch. Petals ^4 inch, pink, becoming purple 
when dry. Capsule 2 inches on a stalk rather shorter 
than the leaves. 

Common in swamps. 

E. Billardierianum, Ser., in D. C. Prod., iii., 41. De- 
cumbent at the base, emitting long, slender stolons with 
distant pairs of small ovate leaves, then erect, or flaccid 
in undergrowth, i to 2 feet high, delicately pubescent. 
Leaves ^ to 2 inches long opposite, ovate, pubescent 
on the ribs, subacute, sessile, with an almost cordate base,, 
margin with numerous small, unequal, acute teeth. 
Flowers in many of the upper axils similar to those of 
E. junceum, but larger. Capsules 2% inches long, 
pubescent, on stalks shorter than the leaves. 

Common in damp situations at all altitudes except 
mountain tops. 

E. junceum, Soland., in G. Forst., Prod. n. 516. Erect 
or sub-decumbent, much branched towards the base, 
about I foot high, most parts clot'hed with a delicate 
white pubescence. Leaves mostly alternate, ^ to ^ 
inch, narrow lanceolate, tapering at the base, bordered 
by a few distant, bold serrations. Flowers in many 
axils, exceeding the leaves. Calyx, i to 2 lines long\ 
Petals slightly exceeding the sepals ; light purple to 
nearly white. Capsule 2 to 3 inches ; slender, on a stalk 
about one inch long. 

A^ery common in lowlands in dry as well as damp 

E,. (^unnianum, Haussk., Mono. Epilob. Erect from 
a decumbent base, ^ to i foot ; stems and capsules 
minutely pubescent. Leaves mostly opposite, sometimes- 
three together; narrow oblong-, sessile or shortly stalked 

Roy, Soc. Tasm,, 1909 


Roy. Soc, Tasm., 1909. 

PL. VI. 



usually, but not always rather thick, o'btuse ; J^ to i inch 
long, generally glabrous, bordered by distant serrations, 
which are usually small, sometimes bolder, at others 
obsolete. Flowers in the upper axils, few, exceeding the 
leaves. Calyx 2 to 4 lines. Petals, 4 to 6 lines, purplish 
to white. Capsule, i to 2 inches on a relatively short 

Common, but principally at a high altitude. 

E. confertifolium, Hook., f. Fl. Antarc. i. 10. Pros- 
trate or ascending at the tip ; i to 4 inches long; slightly, 
generally bifariously, pubescent. Leaves narrow, oblong, 
mostly opposite and secund ; giabrous, shining, thick ; 
^ to I inch long ; upper ones sessile or shortly stalked ; 
the petioles of the lower ones often ^ inch long, mar- 
gined with few distant serrations. Flowers few, exceed- 
ing the leaves on a short pubescent stalk, tfee ovary 
dark, glabrous. Calyx, i to 2 lines. Petals not much 
exceeding the sepals ; pink, rarely white. Capsule, i to 
15^2 inches long, the stalk seldom as long as the leaves. 

Common on mountain plateaux. 

E. Tasmanicum, Haussk., Mono. Epilob. Prostrate, 
rooting at the nodes, all parts glabrous. Leaves broadly 
ovate, obtuse, opposite, stalked ; J4 to ^ inch long-, shin- 
ing; margin entire or with obsolete serrations. Flower 
usually solitary, exceeding the leaves, shortly stalked. 
Calyx, i^ lines long. Petals about as long as the sepals, 
usually white. Capsule about i inch long, on a slender 
stalk, often exceeding 2 inches. Seeds papillose. 

Franklin River, Picton River, Mount Humboldt. 


By Hermann B. Ritz, M.A. 

(Read 14th June, 1909.) 


The reconstruction of the speech of the extmct Tas- 
manian Aborigines seems at first ahiiost impossible, 
ov/ing- to the paucity and dubiousness of the records we 
possess ; but after careful research we find that, though 
the records are scanty, yet they are fairly ample, con- 
sidering the comparatively small number of the con- 
stituent parts of the language, and a reasonable degree 
•of probability can be attained by a patient study of the 
material available. 

As we proceed in our investigation, Ave find that the 
subject opens up most interesting avenues of thought, 
and promises to lead to important results in the domains 
of philology, ethnology, and anthropology. To exhaust 
it would recjuire the labour of years ; but it is possible 
and expedient to formulate 'a working theory and sub- 
mit it to competent criticism, and this is what I now 
venture to do. 

Before entering upon this working theory, it will be 
advisable to define the scope of the present investiga- 

As a trained philologist, I am well aware of the 
classification of the languages of mankind, and have a 
working knowledge of a certain number of them ; but 
I find the characteristics of the Tasmanian speech so 
primitive and unstable, that I cannot see my way to enrol 
it in any of the classes given by the text-books. 

It might be called a root-isolating language, akin to 
the Chinese, but for the fact that its roots are liable to 
variation, within certain limits, not merely in the speech 
of different tril)es or families, but even in the usage of 



an}^ individual speaker. Moreover, a root may have a 
certain meaning in one family and apparently a quite 
different meaning in the other, and phonetic changes 
seem to have been subject to accident rather than to 
phonetic laws. Of course, we are not bound to admit 
the existence of accidents, and we may reasonably as- 
sume that a law may be found, if we only will or can 
go deep enough to find it. 

To find the law underlying the phenomena of the 
Tasmanian speech is the object of the present investiga- 

Again, it has been suggested that this speech is akin 
to that of the Australian Continent or some parts of it, 
or to that of the South Sea Islands, or to that of the 
Andaman Islands, and on these assumptions, theories of 
ethnological affinity have been based. 

Now, a scientific opinion on this must be founded on 
the knowledge of all the speeches in question, and is not 
within the scope of our present study, not only from 
want of sufficient knowledge, but also because of its 
extent and practical uncertainty. The similarity of 
speech between twO' distant races or tribes does not 
justify even a presumption of ethnological affinity, ex- 
cept in so far as we may assume the essential uniformit}^ 
of psychological and physiological processes in all 
human beings. Still, on the latter assumption we may 
establish analogies, provided we can find the speakers 
of the different languages to be at the same stage of 
mental development. 

Finally, the anthropological aspect of our subject 
claims our attention, because the evidence of the avail- 
able records of the Tasmanian speech seems to show 
that those that used it represented the primitive, or at 
least very early, stage of human thought and speech. 
Moreover, it shows that however primitive their thought 
and speech were, they were of the same kind as those 
of all other races of which we have any knowledge. 

It seems clear, then, that we must restrict our pre- 
sent researches to the Tasmanian speech ; and even here 
we find a larger field than at first we should expect, and 
are therefore compelled to subdivide it, in order to for- 
mulate a reasonably complete statement of each part. 



Practically all the available material is contained 
in H. Ling Roth's work, '* The Aborigines of Tas- 
mania " (Halifax, 1899), supplemented by H. De 
Charency's " Recherches sur les Dialectes Tasmaniens " 
(Alen9on, 1880). A comparison of H. Ling Roth's work 
with the sources of his information proves that his work 
may safely be taken as a reliable standard of reference, 
as far as the main facts are concerned ; the misprints 
and errors of transcription are comparatively few in 
number and easily corrected. We shall therefore be 
able to quote chiefly from that book. 

De Charency simply gives a list of words taken 
chiefly from French authors. 

Latham (i) and Mtiller (2) have dealt with the Tas- 
manian speech, but I purposely postpone the study of 
their theories until I have completed the elaboration of 
my own. I am familiar with the usual views on the 
subject of their works, and, on the other 'hand, do not 
wish to run the risk of unconscious bias in favour of any 
particular view until I have thoroughly investigated the 
original sources of information. 

Taking, then, H. Ling Roth's book as our guide, we 
find that there are certainly several dialects of the Tas- 
manian language, and that these dialects are assignable 
to fairly definite geographical regions. The number of 
these dialects is difficult to ascertain ; but on broad lines 
we can easily distinguish two, spoken in regions which 
are separated by mountains and other obstacles, viz., the 
Western and North-Western speech on the one hand, 
and the Eastern and Southern on the other. The re- 
cords of the former are much scantier than those of the 
latter, and of these, more material is definitely assigned 
to the East Coast than to the region of the River 

We shall therefore begin our scrutiny with the 
records of the Eastern speech, then take those of the 
Southern, and finally those of the Western and North- 
Western dialects. 

(i) G. R. Latham, Elements of Comparative Philology, 
(Ivondon, 1862). 

{2) Fried. Miiller, Grniidriss der Spracliwissenschaft 
(Vienna, 1S76). 



First, however, we must briefly refer to the charac- 
teristics of the records themselves. It is evident that 
the original writers of these records had no special 
training for this work. Many of them were men of con- 
siderable scientific attainments, but there was no spe- 
cialist in philology among them, and even if there had 
been, the science of Phonology, indeed that of Com- 
parative Philology itself, had not in their time emerged 
from mere empiricism to the rudiments of stricth^ logical 

Again, some of the recorders were French, one was 
a Scandinavian, others were natives of different parts 
of the United Kingdom, and each of these recorded what 
he thought he heard and according to the way he tried 
to imitate the Ta&manian words. When we add to these 
causes of uncertainty the circumstances that ortho- 
graphy was not always a point of excellence in those 
days, we realise some of the difficulties attending our 
examination of the records. Still, some of these difficul- 
ties are not as great as one would expect. After all, the 
spelling was to a certain extent phonetic, and by pro- 
nouncing the Tasmanian words as if they were English, 
'and comparing them with similar words of kindred 
meaning, we soon learn to fix the actual sounds with 
some certainty. 

There is yet another difficulty with those records. 
When vocabularies and lists of phrases were beginning 
to be compiled, the influence of the white invaders of 
Tasmania had been active for about thirty years, and 
had almost completely destroyed the original conditions 
of the life of the Aborigines. The survivors had been 
collected, and their various dialects had been mutilated, 
•and amalgamated into a sort of " lingua franca " made 
up of convenient native words and colloquial and tech- 
nical English terms. Still, it is possible to pick out words 
■characteristic of certain dialects, just as we could deter- 
mine the Attic, Ionic, Doric, and Aeolian forms from 
■a piece of Greek composition done by an ambitious 
schoolboy. Nor is the admixture of English words of 
serious consequence ; the words are chiefly the names 
of things unconnected with the life of the Aborigines, 
;and, fortunately for our purpose, the native syntax was 
not interfered with to any noticeable extent, owing to a 
"very interesting circumstance. For it is peculiar to 



English-speaking travellers tliat they endeavour to im- 
press their meaning on the " foreign "' natives by speak- 
ing very loudly and distinctly, and by using what has 
been called " jingalese " syntax, after the style of Mr. 
Alfred Jingle, which consists in uttering a series of 
names of things and actions without any attempt at con- 
necting them. 

Now, this is precisely the style of the Aboriginal 
speech, and the similarity of the two styles on the one 
hand confirms the conjecture that the Aboriginal style 
was a primitive, infantile method of conveying thought, 
and, on the other hand, it helps tO' explain the fact that 
English in its " pidgin " or " business " form is so easily 
acquired by foreigners. 

In my interpretation of the Popela Song (Papers of 
the Royal Society of Tasmania, 1908), I had occasion to 
give some examples of this style of speaking, and we 
shall consider some further illustrations in due course. 

For the present, we shall discuss only one point 
more, namely, the intonation of the Aboriginal speech,, 
as regards word accent and phrase modulation. The 
records do not always indicate the word-accent, and 
when they do, they often vary. Two methods of indi- 
cating the accented syllable are used, viz., that of doub- 
ling the consonant after the accented vowel, and that of 
putting a small horizontal stroke over that vowel ; and 
these methods are employed with sufficient frequency 
to allow of definite conclusions on the matter. 

As an interesting illustration we may take the word 
for " bullock "or " beef," quoted by H. Ling Roth from 
Jorgensen's vocabulary (p. 182). Jorgensen says, inter 
alia, that buckelow or iDacala, " bullock," is from the 
English, probably because there were no native bul- 
locks. The English word " bullock " would be changed 
by metathesis into " buckle," and lengthened by the 
usual epithetic vowel into " buckla," or something like 
it. It is evident that the word accent rests on the first 
syllable. But Norman in his vocabulary (L.R., p. i) 
gives the word as parka liar. Now, in this vocabulary, 
we must eliminate the majority of the r's, as merely 
phonetic devices ; thus we get pak 11a, where the accent 
is not only marked by the stroke above the second a,. 
but also by the doubling of the 1 following it. 



Now, the Tasmanian word-accent was quite fre- 
quently on the third syhable from the -end — the ante- 
jjenult, so that the change in the present case cannot be 
(due to a Hnguistic habit of placing" the accent on the 
penult. Thei"e are at least two obvious explanations of 
this matter. The unstable character of the Aboriginal 
speech may have extended the word-accent, and left 
each speaker or family of speakers free to accentuate a 
word at random or at will. Indeed, we find strong evi- 
dence of such a state of things. For instance, H. Ling 
Roth quotes for " foot " or " leg " the following words 
— languna (p. ii.), lagarra (p. xi.), langna (p. xiii.), which 
seems identical with langana (p.'xi.) with the accent on 
the first syllable, luggana (p. xxvi.), leunia (p. xxx.), 
langeneh (p. 1.). 

Again, the word buckelow may not be of English 
origin at all. This seems the more plausible view, for 
we find cognate words in the undoubtedly Aboriginal 
vocabulary, e.g., wakella — mussel (p. iv.), wakellina — 
sun or moon (p. v.), wakella — calf of leg (p. i.), ell of 
which denote something '' round." 

The modulation of the voice in speaking is of the 
same kind as that found in European lang'uages, for in- 
stance in English as spoken by a North Briton, a 
Welshman, or an Irishman. W^e find it most clearly 
expressed in song and in the love of singing, and the 
Tasmanian Aborigines afford good examples of it. H. 
Ling Roth (pp. 134 ff.) gives a good account of the 
music of the Aborigines ; but a better idea of it can be 
gathered from hearing the songs themselves. This is 
possible to us, owing to that wonderful device called 
the gramophone. Mr. Horace Watson, of Sandy Bay, 
an ardent and sympathetic student of Aboriginal life,, 
had shown much kindness to Mrs. Fanny Cochrane 
Smith, one of the descendants of the Aboriginal Tas- 
manians, and, on one occasion she was delighted to- 
please him by singing two native songs into a phono- 
graph. The circumstances thus render the sincerity of 
her performance unquestionable. The records are in 
perfect order, and Mr. Watson, to help me in my study 
of the Tasmanian speech, most generously gave me a 
copy of each. I hope to have an opportunity to trans- 
late and 'explain these records to the Royal Society ; for 
the present I would only point out that the first song is 


distinguished for the precision of its rhythm, and the 
second is perhaps an imitation, not of a Highland bag- 

•pipe, as Bonwick opined, but of the melody of a native 
magpie, which most unmelodionsly the zoologists call a 

. ■" piping crow." 


H. Ling Roth, in his " Aborigines of Tasmania/' 
tabulates some 3,000 words of their language. As I 
have stated before, his lists are fairly accurate copies of 
the original sources of his information, and may safely * 
be used as a basis for our detailed investigation. We 
shall take our examples chiefly from the Appendix. The 
original recorders endeavoured to write phonetically. 
Thus we find on the one hand a considerable variety in 
the spelling of the same Aboriginal words, and, on the 
'Other hand, this variety itself enables us to fix the actual 
■sound, because there is in most cases only one group of 
sounds than can be phonetically represented by all the 
varieties of the spelling. 

But here we meet with a phenomenon which seems 
to present an insuperable obstacle, and yet contains the 
Icey to a plausible solution of the whole question ; for we 
find in words of the same dialect such similarity as 
argues an identity of meaning, and such dififereinces as 
are in other languages found as distinguishing charac- 
teristics of different dialects. We may assume words 
to be of the same dialect, if they appear in the vocabulary 
of a recorder who did not meet with more than one 
tribe of Aborigines, or who had sufficient knowledge of 
different tribes to be able to assign .each word to its 
proper origin. Ataong the former are chiefly the navi- 
gators, e.g., Cook, Peron, and La Billardiere; among 
the latter we may mention Norman, Jorgensen, and 

Now, these quasi-identical words might have come 
from different tribes, and thus have formed a composite 
vocabulary, especially as we find, on comparing the 
various dialects, that they evidently are species of the 
same generic language. But we read in H. Ling Roth's 



work (p. 166) that Mr. Robert Clark, catec'hist, states 
that on his arrival at the Flinders Settlement, in 1834, 
•eight or ten different languages or dialects were spoken 
among the 200 natives then at the establishment, and 
that the blacks were instructing each other to speak 
their respective tongues. This would not have been 
necessary if there had been a common vocabulary, such 
as we find in the various dialects of English, French, 
German, etc. 

Again, Alilligan wrote (L. Roth, p. 180): — "The cir- 
cumstance of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Van Die- 
men's Land being divided into many tribes and sub- 
tribes, in a state of perpetual antagonism and open 
hostility to each other, materially added to the number 
of the elements and agents of mutation ordinarily 
■operating on the language of an unlettered people. To 
this was superadded the effect of certain superstitious 
customs everywhere prevalent, which led from time to 
time to the absolute rejection and disuse of words pre- 
viously employed to express objects familiar and indis- 
pensable to all, thus tending arbitrarily to diversify the 
dialects of several tribes. The habit of gesticulation and 
the use of signs to eke out the meaning of monosyllabic 
expressions, and to give force, precision, and character 
to vocal sounds, exerted a further modifying effect, pro- 
ducing, as it did, carelessness and laxity of articulation 
and in the application and pronunciation of words. The 
last-named irregularity, namely, the distinctly different 
pronunciation of a word by the same person on different 
occasions, to convey the same idea, is very perplexing 
until the radical or essential part of the word, apart from 
prefixes and suffixes, is caught hold of." 

Dr. iVIilligan's opinion is of great weight, as he made 
special efforts to obtain reliable information, and had 
spefial facilities for investigation. It is his last-quoted 
sentence that indicates the starting point of our present 

When we examine the syllables of the Aboriginal 
words, we notice that they are few in number and simple 
in structure. This is due to the paucity of consonants 
and vowels, and even these may be reduced, owing to 
the peculiarity that they can be arranged in groups, the 
members of which are interchangfeable. 



H. Ling Roth (p. 183) enumerates the following con- 
sonants — " b. c (? k), g, h (only at the end of words), 
k, 1, m, n, p, q (qii) [? k], r, t, [w], ch, and gh (pro- 
nounced as in German hochachten)." 

Now, it Avill be shown that, very probably, these 
may be reduced to the following groups — b p w, d t, g 
k ch gh, 1 m n r ng. 

d is apparently characteristic of the Western dialect ;: 
H. Ling Roth does not include it in his list ; ng, belong- 
ing to most dialects, is also omitted. 

Again, we find 1, m, n, r, ng as alternatives of t, p, 
t, k respectiveh' ; ng ma}- also stand for n, sometimes 
for nag. Thus we have practically only four con- 
sonants, corresponding to the labial, dental, guttural, 
and liquid sounds ; the 'liquid sounds themselves are 
often assignable to other groups. 

The vowels, again, are liable to be changed at will, 
within certain limits. For instance, we have the same 
meaning expressed by pana, pena, plena, poina, puna ; 
(v. infra). 

It should be staited that in this essay the vowels of 
Tasmanian words are to be read as if they were Italian.. 
This is probably not quite accurate, but sufficiently so 
for our purpose, especially in view of the instability of 
the Aboriginal speec'h-sounds. 

Thus the number of possible syllables was very 
small ; but we shall see that, though small, it was suffi- 
cient for the needs of the speakers. The long words of 
our vocabularies can be cut up into syllables v/hich are 
tlie real words of the language. 

In my essay on the Evolution of Words, part of 
which I read before this Society in September, 19(35, I 
endeavoured to connect the original speech sounds w^ith 
definite psychic states and processes, and the principles 
then enunciated seem to be strikingly illustrated in the 
clearly primitive speech of Tasmania. I shall have occa- 
sion to refer to them incidentally later on ; for the pre- 
sent, one example will suffice. On page 17, I wrote, 
inter alia — " Terms of endearment are essentially of a.i 
objective character, and require sounds of high pitch. 


The thin, bright sounds, t, 1. i, n, s, are t3'pical of diminu- 
tives, not only in nouns, but also in adjectives, and even 
in verbs." Now, in Tasmania, we find ina, enna, itia as 
suffixes indicating diniinutives, analogous with the 
German ing, the English kin, the French il, in, et, the 
Italian illo, ino, etto. 

The Tasmanian diphthongs ma}^ be divided into two 
groups. H. Ling Roth gives au, oi, and ou, but omits 
ie, ia, as he takes the i of the latter group to be a con- 
sohantal i. The group au, oi, ou, to which we ma}^ add 
oa, simply represent an unstable a or o, whereas ia, ie, 
ea, are developments of i or e, indicating a lengthening 
in time or space, as expressed by delay, interval, or a 
curve ; wina is a straig'ht stick, wiena a bent or broken 

Of the consonants, the liquids alone are capable of 
continuance ; they therefore fitly represent motion. We 
find, accordingly, that lia (also in the forms of lena, liena, 
lila) means missile, leg, water, bu-sh fire, iguana, kan- 
garoo, cat, gun, crow, movable shelter, nest, stone (mis- 
sile or cutting tool) ; ria (also rene, riawe, riena, rina) 
means toe, hand, finger, to polish, water, dance, kan- 
garoo, rat, to run ; ni, (also nina, nile, none, noana, nuna, 
nuena), means you (i.e., away from me), no, hand, take 
away, fire, flea, stone implement; mina (also mena, 
manga, mana, meuna), means I, mine (i.e., towards me), 
lips, beak, sick (restless), tongue, bird. 

The labial consonants represent a sudden puff, a 
sending forth of energy, and are therefore very appro- 
priate for expressing action and purpose. Thus we find 
pa (also ba, wa, ma) as the general suffix of verbs ; as 
suffix, prefix, or infix, it expresses power, emphasis, 
magnitude. Alana, mena, mina, meaning " I," may well 
indicate, besides " motion towards me," the prime im- 
portance men attribute to their own persons. It is in- 
teresting to note that most European languages use me 
or mi as the pronoun of the first person. We find, 
further, that pena (also pana, penina, pina, poine, puna) 
means lance, oar, laugh, fish, pointed, sharp, bird. 

The dental consonants, pronounced by practically 
shutting the teeth, indicate inclusion and exclusion, and 
by their sound, a sudden stop or thud. Here, again, 



nina, nara, besides meaning " motion away from me,"" 
may indicate the non-ego, the outer world, i.e., you, he,, 
she, they, that thing; ni or noi, similarly, may mean 
negation, as well as " apart from." Tana (also taw'e, tia,. 
tiena, tienbug, tona, toni), means was (at a distant time), 
depart, heap, mound, to add, vanish, sink, spark, call 
(to a distance). Na, as " that thing," is the general' 
suffix for nouns and adjectives, sometimes replaced by 
ra or lia. 

The guttural consonants may express disgust (as in 
the sound of retching), or something connected with the- 
dropping of the chin. For the former meaning we have- 
the common suffix ak or ik, expressing dislike, un- 
pleasantness, also negation. For the latter we have 
kana (also kami, kaiena, kuna), meaning mouth, teeth, 
jaw, cheek, to speak, to sing, to reject. 

It will be observed that in the examples given, only 
the first consonant, with the following vowel or diph- 
thong, enters into the argument. 

The sounds r and 1 have other functions besides^ 
that of indicating motion ; they also denote emphasis, 
especially the r. Of course, a moving thing has more- 
energy than a stationary one. In Norman's vocabulary,, 
the letter r is verv conspicuous ; in most instances it is 
merely a phonetic device to assure a correct pronuncia- 
tion, but in others it probably indicates the throaty 
bass-voices of the Aboriginal speakers. 

This is practically the whole material of the speech 
of the Tasmanian Aborigines. All things were distin- 
guished according to two ideas, namely, rest and motion.. 
■The liquid consonants expressed motion, and all the 
others, rest. This is the explanation of the frequent 
interchange of sounds within two groups. By a develop- 
ment of psychic activity, it came to pass that the dental 
sounds signified rest simply, the labials, rest attained 
after motion, the gutturals, motion after rest, and the 
liquids, simple motion. From these four groups, prac- 
ticallv represented by four simple syllables, the whole 
speech was formed, as will appear plausible from our 
further demonstration. 

There were so few things of interest to the Abo- 
rigines, tliat they could easily express them by a small 



number of words. Of course, any particular thing could 
not be denoted by their words except by the aid of 
gestures and convention, as in the names of persons and 
places. And this explains why the dialects were appa- 
rently foreign to each other. What would in one tribe 
be named after its speed, would in another take its name 
from its habit or size. Indeed, I am inclined to hold, 
against the current theory that the Tasmanians had nO' 
generic names, that they had no speciiic Avords, even 
the proper nouns being made up of generic constituents. 

In the ■examples given so far, we observed chiefly 
the first consonant, with the following vowel wdiic'h 
made it audible, and took no heed of anything that came 
after these. 

The vowels were, as has already been pointed out, 
so unstable as to be of no importance for our demon- 

We will now proceed a step further, by adding 
another consonant to the syllable, with or without 
another vowel, as may be found convenient. 

From the four primitive words we derive twelve 
secondary terms, three from each. It is evident, from 
what has been shown, that if the second consonant is 
of the same class as the first, the result is merely a 
strengthening of the first, by repetition. For instance, 
lala, ant, is the swift runner ; lane, to strike, flog, look, 
is repeated or forcible motion towards some object; 
mamana, tongue, is the repeatedly moving pointed 
member; nala, manana, earth, the movable part of the 
surface of the ground ; nama, white man, the rover who 
has no tribe to stay with ; nami, a stone than can be 
rolled or carried or thrown ; ralla, frog, the swimming 
and hopping thing, also energetic, full of movement; 
rene, run ; rilia, fingers, movable limbs. 

The first syllables uttered by an infant are naturally 
pa, ba, ma, and later, na, etc. Hence we have in most 
languages words like baby, mama, papa, nana. In Tas- 
manian, too, we have pawe, paAvawe, little child ; nina 
mina, (my) mother, father. 

W^e must be careful to avoid mistaking- the n of the 
nominal sufifix na for the final consonant of the previous 
syllable, or vice versa. 



We shall have therefore the following twelve com- 
binations — liquid+labial, liqiiid+dental, liquid+guttural, 
labial+dental, labial+guttnral, labial+liqiiid. dental+ 
guttural, dental+liquid, dental+labial, guttural+liquid, 
guttural+labial, guttural+dental. These may be illus- 
trated as follows : — 

(i) Liquid+labial — motion+purpose : lapa, wing; 
lapri, see, leipa, lopa, fire ; lepena, eye ; lepina, lepera, 
neck ; lewana, wind ; lube, sheoak tree (the best fire- 
wood) ; lupari, free. 

Mapa, black, the darkness moving over the sky and 
earth, (avc have also lewara, night) ; mebia, moving awa}'. 

Newina, eat ; newitie, kangaroo ; niparana, face ; 
nubra, nupre, eye ; nubena, crayfish (motion and purpose 
are shown in the claws). 

Rabalga, hand (the member which takes) ; roba, to 
rush ; ruwa, sand-lark ; roba and ruwa are perhaps simply 
ro+pa, i.e., moving cjuickly or energetically. 

(2) Liquid+dental — motion+rest : lotta, tree (that 
grows and then remains at rest) ; lutana, moon (wdience 
comes the light that rests on the 'Carth), hence light, as 
in ludo-wine, Avhite man. 

Mata, round like a ball (whirling and then fixed) ; 
mata, dead, to die (moving and then still) ; meta, rope or 
sinew (used for fastening movable things) ; mutta, bird 
(from its plumpness ; the mutton-bird is probably the 

IsTata, earth, soil (remaining still after being moved) : 
nutiak, to retch (the suffix ak denoting the unpleasant 
feeling and the peculiar sound). 

Retena, heart (with its intermittent motion) : riatta, 
tree (like lotta) ; rudana, lazy (when in motion, longing 
for rest) ; rutta, hard, drv (dried fluid, e.g.. mud or 

(3) Liquid+guttural — motion+rejection : lagana, foot 
(put on the ground and lifted up again) ; laguana, to 
burn oneself (withdrawing from une, the fire) ; legana, 
lugana, water (moving away in stream and ebb) ; legara, 
to run awav ; legunia, dress or covering (removable and 
warm — une) ; logune, to cut (making one shrink owing 



to the burning sensation, v. laguana) ; loigana, snake, the 
fiery serpent. 

Magra, megra, day, grass (i.e., that whicli passes 
away) ; mengana, to pull, get (move away from its 
■place); miengpa, to abstain, reject; moga, moka, water; 
monga, a fly (which is ever ready to go away) ; 
mugra, to hide oneself; mukra, spaniel (the swimming 
beast): mungena, ear (projecting from the head, and ori- 
ginally movable). 

Nangumora, (very) far ; nenga, canoe (for leaving 
the land) ; noki, give me (you give away something) ; 
nugara, to drink ; nugrina, to vomit (both involving 
motion of the gullet). 

Raka, spear (sent forth) ; ragi or ragina, white man 
•(the hostile, repulsive moving thing). We find this in- 
terpretation confirmed by the word ragi-rappa, a demon 
who attacks people, a devil ; we remember the Chinese 
denotation of white men as " foreign devils " ; rugara, 
ear (compare mungena) ; rurga, seaweed used for food 
(compare nugara, nugrina). 

(4) Labial+dental — projection+rest : patina, Qgg; 
patroUa, spark, fire (projected, resting); rolla, energetic; 
there may also be a connection with " crackling "' ; 
piterina, sun (as to its rays); poiete, head (projecting 
from the body, but stationary) ; potta malitie, freestone 
(white stone that can be thrown — malitie, white). 

(5) Labial+guttural — projection+rejection : pagra, 
alas ! (an utterance of pain) ; pakara, to fling at (mo- 
tion and dislike) ; pakaria, shooting-star ; pakaritia, ignis 
fatuus ; panga, leech (an attacking, repulsive thing); 
pangana, mud (clinging and disagreeable) ; pegara, to 
throw; pegi, teeth (acting against each other); pugana, 
black man, good at attack and defence, hence strong, 
stout ; pugana, five (the " bunch of fives ") ; pugara, to 

(6) Labial+licjuid — projection+motion : palla, round, 
ball, energetic, large, stout, sun ; palina, egg (small and 
round) ; palana, stars, little sun ; pallawa, man, warrior 
(with wa as suffix of emphasis) ; penna, spear, man, 

•facetious; plena, leech; poiinta, poienna, point of spear; 



parawe, to throw, put, go away ; parapa or paraba, whale,, 
porpoise (large, moving") ; perena (spear) ; poirina, por- 
poise ; pora, heavy rain; proie, leaf- pruana, smoke. 

(7) Dental+guttural — rest+rejection: takani, tagara, 
to g'o away (to lift up the foot from its resting position) ; 
dogna (z^= tagana), foot ; takira, root, foot of tree ; tanga, 
limpet ; tegana, heart (its beating being like rhythmic 
footsteps) ; togane, paw, foot ; tokana, heel ; tugra, 
thigh ; tugana, swift (of foot) ; tuganik, asleep (the pejo- 
rative, ik. implying negation; tugana, to eat (passing 
from rest to the motion of the gullet). 

(8) Dental+liquid — rest+motion : tale, toad, frog 
(alternately resting and moving) ; talina, the back (un- 
changing, but moving as part of the body) ; talpe, to. 
come, start ofif ; tile, basket (an inanimate thing meant 
to be carried) ; toline, bark of a tree (grown fast to the 
trunk, l^ut liable to peel off) ; toluna, shoulder (compare 
talina) ; tula, thigh, tongue (fixed, but movable). 

Tema, hut (movable resting place) ; time, never (really 
" always," " resting or moving " ; compare the French 
jamais, which also means " always " (from the Latin 
jam, magis, i.e., now and evermore, and is used for 
" never ") ; tome, to fall. 

Tana, was (looking back from the present moment) :. 
tanate, mischief (pretending- to be resting, and yet mov- 
ing to do some harm) ; tene, rib (compare talina) ; tena, 
tree-fern (stationary, but growing) ; toni, tenine, nails on 
fingers and toes (compare tena) ; tina, stomach (compare 
tula) ; tona, spark ; tone, to dive, fall ; toni, to call (to 
cause to move) ; tuna, Avinter, really " snow " (the solid, 
falling thing) ; tunapi, to know (to have the skill to act). 

Tara, to weep, really " to sit down and sway the body 
in token of grief" ; tara, tree (compare tena) ; tara. wal- 
laby (compare tale); teri, basket (compare tile); terana, 
terina, bones of skeleton (compare tene). The bones of 
the body are stationary, but growing. In the skeleton 
they are chiefly noticeable for being hard and dry. This 
meaning" is transferred to teruna, tro-watta, flint imple- 
ment ; torona, tree, is a form of tra-na ; tru, fist is so^ 
called from its bony hardness ; tura, winter ; turana,. 
snow ; turela, hail, arc forms of tuna. 



(9) Dental+labial — rest+projection : tapa, ham : tab- 
rina (=; tapa-rina), the back, a prolongation of the ham; 
tepara. come; tipla, eyebrow; tapieti, tabelti, to travel; 
this word is supposed to be an imitation of the English 
equivalent, but it is not probable that that word was 
used so frequently as equivalent of " to walk," that 
practically all the tribes incorporated it in their vocabu- 
lary. According to our theory, tapieti is simply tap- 
let-i, i.e., the hams alternately moving forward and' 
resting; takleti would refer to the same action of the- 
legs or the feet ; but we find numerous instances of the 
group pi, and very few of the group kl ; the latter seems, 
to have been difficult or disagreeable to the Tasmanians ;; 
tapieti would make an excellent substitute for the ob- 
jectionable takleti. The probability of the exchange is. 
confirmed Idv the alternative form kableti for tableti. 

(10) Guttural+liquid — rejection+motion : kole, to 
twitch, snatch away ; koliena, orphan, whose parents- 
have been taken away. In further confirmation of our 
remark regarding the group kl, we find that these two 
words are practically alone in beginning with the syllable 
kal, kel, kol, etc. 

Kami, mouth, teeth, tongue, probably owes its k to- 
the movement of the chin (v. supra) ; Ave find many 
words belonging to this meaning of km, but very few 
signifying rejection. Of the latter, however, we have a 
characteristic one; komptena, a spirit of evil, objection- 
ably moving near to human beings, tena being akin tO' 
tanate, mischief (v. supra). 

Kana, voice, noise, song, speech, evidently belongs 
to the " chin " group of k sounds. H. Ling Roth's lists 
give no kan words of the other ; indeed, the number of 
words beginning with k is comparatively small ; the 
sound of rejection is usually found at the end of a word. 

Krakne, krakena, to rest, sit down, is made up of 
kara and the negation k and the suffix ne or ena, which 
properly belong's to nouns ; kara-k would then mean 
''disagreeable motion? No!" We find kroti (quick 
motion), kronie (to climb), both implying exertions 
which the Aborigines disliked. 

(11) Guttural+labial — rejection+projection: kupa,. 
good (to give or take).' We find kapugi-lia, mouth, and 


kepegine, to eat, but these are evidently composed of 
ka, jaw, and pegi, teeth. 

(12) Guttnral+dental — rejection+rest : kate, kaita, bad 
(i.e., do not like it, leave it alone) ; katala, snake, the bad 
moving" thing; katela or katila, seal, and katina, cow, 
would also be so called if the Aborigines were at first 
afraid of them ; kote, quick, is akin to kroti (v. supra), 
but there is a curious development of the idea in koti, 
little, kaita, dog (small beast), the idea of quickness and 
smallness being easily associated, and from the idea of 
'' small ■" we readily pass to that of " pet." Compare also 
" cat '' and kitten." Again, there is a connection between 
koti and kate (v. supra) ; as the Aborigines called a good 
or great man pallawa or pugana, they would naturally 
call a little thing, kate, bad. Kotube, to tug at a rope, 
is expressive of the resistance of an inert mass to the 
action of pulling ( — be or pe). 

The examples here given will suffice for the purpose 
of illustrating the principle ; their number might easily 
have been augmented. In some cases the same word 
was made to serve in two places. This was done because 
there was a plausible alternative, and because it is quite 
possible that different speakers named the same thing 
on sligfhtly different principles. The orthography is that 
of H. Ling Roth's lists : phonetic, not always consistent, 
but sufficiently accurate for our present purpose. 

It will have been noticed that the interchange of 
kindred sounds is not detrimental to the clearness of the 
meaning of words, and that the vowels are remarkably 

Before we proceed to the illustration of our theory 
in the case of longer words, it will be necessary to draw 
special attention to the variation of speech sounds. 
'Here it is difficult to decide in each case whether the 
variation is due to the general instability of the 
Aboriginal orthoepy, or to the difference of dialects, or 
to the insincerity of the Aborigines, who would prob- 
ably not be eager to deprive themselves of the means 
of secret communication with each other, or to the de- 
fective perceptivity of the recorders, or to their linguistic 
idiosyncrasies, or to careless writing or transcription of 
the original records, or to the printer or his reader. 


Still, in most instances, the differences and analogies,., 
taken together, are snflficientl_v consistent to allow us 
to formulate some general rules. 

We must remember, also, that the language did not 
spring into existence in the form recorded, though it 
did, no doubt, begin in a form completely satisfying 
all the requirements at that time. If my theory is cor- 
rect, the four words on which all the rest are built show- 
an absolutely primitive form of human speech ; previous 
to it there can have been no linguistic thought, and 
the utterance must have been confined to inarticulate 
animal cries. The subsequent word-formation was a 
subconscious operation, based on heredity, environment,, 
and habit turned to instinct. 

The primitive state in which the Tasmanian Abo- 
rigines were found by the Europeans, argues that their 
logical skill had been confined to the immediate needs 
of their bodies, and that their language was in a simi- 
larl}^ primitive state. The four words still sufficed to 
express their thougdits, and thus their recorded speech 
carries us back to the beginning of human society. 

Thus, the four syllables form the permanent skeleton 
of the Tasmanian language, and their combinations and 
variations are the body, which is specifically different 
in each individual, though genericallv it is the same in^ 

We may now state some general principles of varia- 
tion : — 

(i) Medial and initial g is often elided, replaced by w 
or y, or represented by o or u. 

This phenomenon is observed in several European, 
languages, ranging from Greek to English. In Tas- 
manian we have, e.g., proguna and pruana, smoke; 
pruga, paruga, bosom ; perenna, spear ; and proina, 
proigh, proingha, broii, proibi, big; ganna and yanna, 
teeth ; ngune, une, wane, fire ; kana, wana, ona, to speak. 

(2) The places of the vowels are chosen arbitrarily. 

We may have prosthetic vowels, as in ali, good,,, 
which seems identical with li, moving, alive, useful; 
anamana, hand, from namana, strong ; enganema, eagle- 
hawk, from ngonina, bird, which is in itself derived from, 
naganina or laganina, the small, flapping thing. 


Again, we have regularly an epitlietic vowel, a, e, or 
i ; every word is an example of this. 

Within the word, the vowels found places where they 
could. We have treinia, terinia, taranienna, triunia for 
"hard-beaked bird," e.g., owl, crow; ria, rilia, riena, 
raiana, for hand ; raumpta and raumata, for wombat ; 
pengana, panugana, pugrena, pugerinna, for dirt ; lan- 
. gana, languna, lugana, langna, dogna, lagerra, for foot ; 
lowanna, nowana, Iowa, loanna, loa, loalla, lowla, for 
woman; leni, loa, liena, lia, lina, for water. 

(3) Within their respective groups, the consonants 
may be freely interchanged. This has already been 
touched upon, and will be further illustrated in the 


It is beyond the scope of our present research to 
examine all the words recorded by H. Ling Roth, whose 
list, as has already been stated, may be considered as 
practically complete. It Vv^ill be sufficient to deal with 
such a number of them as will enable a critic to test our 

We shall take Norman's list for the Eastern speech, 
and Miiligan's for the Southern, Eastern, and North- 
western and Western words. Unfortunately Milligan 
did not discriminate between the last two dialects, but 
this is not of great importance, as they have much in 
common with each other. 

We shall find some instances of onomatopoetic 
words, such as pratteratta, hail, from which we get 
paratta, ice, frost ; but we need not do more than 
acknowledge the existence of such words, as their con- 
nection with our theory is remote, and possibly merely 

Nor need we take notice of evidently interjectional 
words, for we are not now concerned with the origin of 
language generally, but Avith the elements and develop- 
ment of the speech of the Tasmanian Aborigines. 

I have dissected some 1,200 Tasmanian words, but 
shall confine my present discussion to a much smaller 
number of characteristic specimens, taking, them, g^ene- 
rally, in alphabetical order. 



Bungana, chief — same as pugana. 

Bairkiitana, horse — par, big ; kut, quick ; na. nominal 

Kumienna, weak — kami, voice ; ienna, diminutive 

Karana, quiet — ka, not ; ra, moving. 

Kukanna, noise, much talk — kana, voice ; ku, redu- 
plication for emphasis. 

Krawala, cold — kra, stiff; wala^=rpalla, very much. 

Kanara, little (child), magpie — kan, voice ; ra, con- 

Kanaliria, conversation — kan, voice ; li, quick ; ri, 

Kamina, chin — ka, jaw; mina3=rpena, projection. 

Kuegi, head — ka ka, mouth, jaw, cheeks ; the whole 
face ; round ; spherical. 

Kanawelegana, sing — ^kan, voice ; we, active ; leg, 

Ivomtina, dog — ka(m), teeth ; tin, projecting. 

Kaitagunamena, friend — ka, tongue ; tag, foot ; 
nam^na, hand (in my service). 

Kulugana, claw, talon ; ka, tooth, (of the) lug, foot. 

Kawurrina, bush fire — ka, eating up ; wur:;=pur, 
solid, ground. 

Kotruolutie, baby — kot, little ; ruo^^nug, drink, 
suck; lut, white; ie, diminutive. Query: Were the young 
babies of paler complexion than the adults? It is the 
case elsewhere. 

Koti malitie, young boy or girl — koti, young; ma=:r 
pa, very ; lit, bright, fair ; ie, diminutive. 

Lia litea, ocean — li, water ; lit, bright, sparkling 
ripples ; ia, diminutive. This appears also in the form 
of lieltia, rollers on the beach (with white crests). 

Liopakanapuna, salt — lia, sea ; pug, solid ; peun, 
sharp, burning. 

Lagapak, fiddle — lag, leg, stick, bow ; pa, moving ; 
k, not getting away ; or simply pa ka, moving forward 
and backward. 



Liawe, open — li, move ; we, let, make. 

Leiemtoniak, ashamed— len, look ; ton, downwards ; 
k,, bad. 

Lackaniampaoik, bandy-legged — lag, leg; nia, bent; 
pe, stick ; k, bad. 

Leiriak, bitter — li, water ; ri, restless (of the sea) ; k, 

Leware, night — Ing, lie ; war, ground. 

Lalina, day — lin, see ; 1, reduplicated, plenty. 

Lila, gun, waddy — li 'li, very swift, flying. 

Lowanakana, circle — low, woman; kan, sing; the 
singing women standing or sitting in a circle. 

Langta, long, far — len, move on ; t stop : a distant 

Luga perenna, survivor — lug, walk away ; pe, very ; 
ren, quickly. 

Lugana, foot, oyster — the oyster lies fiat like the 
sole of the foot. 

Lowa, woman — lug, foot ; wa, active ; the woman had 
t'O do all the work of the tribe except hunting and fight- 

Lingena, languna, loangare, likangana, likura — wind, 
to blow ; len, continuous motion. ^ 

Lietinna, cold water — li, water; tuna, cold. 

Liena peuniak, scalding water — li, water ; pe, very ; 
un, fire ; k, bad. 

Lenigugana, stars — len, see ; kuka, round things. 

Miengpa, abstain — niien=wien, bend, turn away 
from, not ; pa, doing. 

Mianabere, kneel — mien, bend; pere, leg. 

Mealle, kneel — mial, bend ; leg, leg. 

Mealli tonerragetta, inactive — mealli, knee ; to(ka), 
heel; narra, very; kita, small, useless. 

Mikrakaniak, sick — mie, not ; kraka, rest, sleep ; k, 

Miengkommenechana, anger — mien, distorted, pro- 
jecting ; kamina, chin ; kana, speak. 

Munnagana, ankle — mien, bend ; leg, foot. 

Malitie, white — ma=rpa, very ; kit, shining. 

Mientonka, tumble — mien, bend, knee ; ton, fall ; k, 



Mienintiak, tremble — mien, bend ; inti=^inni, a little ; 
k, bad. 

Marana, battle (few killed)— pa, hit ; ren, run. 

Monna perenna, snlky, pouting" — muna, lips ; 
perenna, projecting. 

Manina langatik, steal — mar^^mie, not ; nina, yours ; 
langt (take) far awa}' ; k, bad. 

Malangena, child — Ma3=;mie, not ; lag, foot, move, 
walk ; in, dimin. 

Manugana, spawn of frog=perhaps the same as 
malangena, with a possible change from ina (dear little 
one), to kana, croaker. 

Miamengana, battle — mien mien, knee to knee ; kana, 

Mienemiento, kill — mien, mien, battle ; t, stop, strike 

Mungwenia, grub — mien, bend ; wen=:pen, stick ; 
i, small. 

Mungena, ear — mung r= mien = pen, projecting, 

Mongana, blowfly — Mung, round. 

Mungunna, fish — mung-winna, round and long. 

Mungienna, porcupine — mung-ienna, round and' 

Mingawina. porpoise — v. mungunna. 

Mugana, shag (bird) — mung, round, plump ; it may 
also be a doublet of nagana, lagana, flapping thing, bird. 

Mana, a fly — man-a, round, or a contraction of mon- 

Makana, star-fish— magz=mung, round. The transi- 
tion from man to mang and then to mag is quite natural., 

Xi, there, behold ! with emphatic k — neka, niga, 
there ; with emphatic r — nara, very, he, she, they, self. 

Nune, take — ni, ni, there ! 

Numbe, here — ni, ni, pe, here indeed; lumbe is a. 
doublet of this. 

Nunamara, deduct — Nune, take; mare, one. 

Nentega meniawa, yesterday — ni ni, not at all ; teg,, 
sleep ; mi, I ; ni, you ; wa, do — when last we were awake- 

Naniakana, growl — kana, saying ; ni ni, no ! no ! 


Nietta mina, little brother — ni, you ; etta, little ; mina, 
my own, my own little one. 

Nianti mina, little sister — nia nitia mina, the same. 

Nunalmina, father — ni, you ; al, good ; mina, my 
own ! 

Nienna, mother — ni, you ; enna, dear little mother. 

Neing-mina, mother — nienna mina, my own little 
mother. The addition of the endearing term mina to 
these words shows again the affectionate, childlike dis- 
position of the Aborigines. 

Nelumie, help — ni, 3'OU ; lumbe:r=numbe, here. 

Nuna mina, good — ni ni, these things ; mina, for me ! 

Nolle, bad — no ali, not good. 

Nierina, hawk— nie=mie, in a circle ; rin, flying. 

Narra muna, yes — narra, that; muna, projecting, 

Nebele, music — ne=le, lively ; pe, make ; leg, feet. 

Oana, tell, speak — probably from kana ; wana would 
be better spelling; there are so few words in o that they 
are probably misprints. 

Punie, finger nail — doublet of toni (supra). 

Plegana, leg — pa, strong; leg, leg. 

Pugali, swim — 'puga, man ; li, water. 

Poingana, hair — pen, spear, stick ; hair dressed in 
form of sticks. 

Puganina, husband — puga, man ; nina, that — -that 
man, " he." 

Patrollana, musket — patrol, fire ; len, flying. 

Poiniakana, laugh, facetious — pe, sharp ; ia, little ; 
kan, sounds- 

Pugoneori, -smile — ^pe, sharp ; kan, voice ; ali, kind, 

Rinneaguanettia, dispute — rin, cjuick ; ia, short ; kan, 
words ; ettia, trifling things. The form guan for kan sup- 
plies the missing link of the series kan, guan, wan, oan. 

Riawieak, full (after a meal) — ria, feet ; pe, active ; 
ak, with difficulty. 

Rinieta, chase — rin, run ; ia, hither and thither ; t, 
stop — run till you have it. 

Riakuna, dance and song — ria, foot ; kana, voice ; an 
Aboriginal ballad. 



Toiina, fire, literally, spark — compare with tuna, 
snow. These contraries have parallels in European lan- 
g^uages, e.g., French frire, German frieren, Italian caldo, 
English cold. It is interesting to find the phenomenon 
in Tasmanian. Originally tonna, a contraction of tonina, 
would be a " small, falling thing, and in this respect 
woudl coincide with tuna, snow. 

Tonipeprinna, spark — toni, fire ; pe, prinna, fly. 

Tentia, red, topaz — ton, fire ; itia, dimin.- — somewhat 
like fire. 

Tugana, eat — toka, footstep, periodic downward mo- 
tion. It is possible that tonna, fire, is a contraction of 
this, as it ' eats up " everything. 

Tone, dive — simply " falling," or else "going down 
with jerky motions." 

Tughenapuniak, lean — tug, eat ; pun, full ; ak, no use. 

Weba, weipa, wigetina, wina, winalia, wieta, wita — ■ 
sun, moon ; weiba, wiba, wibia, wieba, man ; wia, wiena, 
wigena, wina, wiwina, winanana, wood, twig. The com- 
•mon root is pe— strong, moving, projecting. 

\¥uga, wutta, wughta, earth ; pug, solid ; ta, sta- 

Warra-na, bark of tree, shell, anything curved, blue 
sky, vault, cloud shape, ghost ; pura, pulla, round. 


The words bear the same general character as those 
of the Eastern speech. The separate list is given be- 
cause Milligan and Norman based the distinction on the 
domicile of the Aborigines they examined, and because 
slight differences of pronunciation may thus be dis- 
cerned. It is now impossible to assign shades of mean- 
ing to particular tribes ; but this is immaterial, as the 
meaning of speech sounds varied in every individual, 
within definite limits, of course. 

Koka, ruddy cheeks, blood, red. This is a redupli- 
cated ka, chin ; it would refer to the strikingly red colour 
of the gums, tongue, etc., and thus assume the general 
meaning of " red." We have seen kuegi, head, from 
the same kaka, as the sum of these parts ; but its mean- 
ing was there referred to shape and position, not to 


Kokata, moan, howl — kaii, voice, repeated, with t to 
express the sobs. 

Kawtita, evening — ka, red ; wutta, earth, at the 

Kraka wnghata, stand up — kraka, rest, stand ; wug- 
ha=pug, firm ; ta, stationary. In the East, we find 
wuga, wughta, for '' earth." 

Krugana wughata, aloft — wughata, ground ; krugana 
appears also as kroana, to climb, soar ; the phrase means 
" to cli'mb from the ground." In the Eastern speech 
we find kronie ; this might argue that the more primi- 
tive forms were characteristic of the South, but the evi- 
dence on this point is conflicting ; for instance, we have 
a Southern tannatea (crazy) to compare with the 
Eastern tagantienna. 

Lia mena, lake — lia, water ; mien, round, enclosed. 

Legara, run — compare legana (supra) ; the suffix ra 
often takes the place of na in the South. 

Line, house, hut, nest, place — some movable shelter. 

Line rotali, encampment — line, abode ; rot, dry ; ali, 

Loini, liena, bush fire- — moving slowly (note the 

Lugga kanna, step — lug, foot ; kan, sound. 

Luggara, fun, sport, dance — lug, foot. 

Lunghana, strike, flog, beat — as the ground is struck 
with the foot. 

Lungana, kill — the result of the stroke. 

Longhana, longana, sleep — like death. 

Lungana, swift — of foot. 

Lughra, heat — from running ; compare Eastern 
magra, day. 

Lughrata, hot — lugra, heat ; t, stationary, permanent. 

Lughoratah, summer — doublet of lughrata. 

Leghro-mena, perspire — Legro, heat ; pen, projec- 
ting, exuding. 

Mattawebe, firewood — matta, dead ; weba, stick. 

Mungara, flint — pug, solid. This word also appears 
as mughra and mora. 

Mughra malli, topaz — pug, solid ; pa-lut, very bright. 

Mora trona, flint — ^pug, solid ; tro, hard. 


Mabbile, altogether, quite, many — pa pel, very round, 
strong, numerous; compare English " roundly," " round 

Aloi, mie, mungie, dead — Eastern mien, bent, round, 
return, not, heap, sick, feeble. 

Moimabbile, battle — ^Moi, dead ; mabbile, many. 

Moimutte, skirmish — moi, dead ; mutt, heap, i.e., 
few ; if there were many, they could not be seen at once, 
as if in a heap. 

Matta, mutta, moatta, round, heap, spherical, pigeon, 
plump — pug, solid ; t, stationary ; compare wugata. The 
series is pugata, wugata, mugata, moata, muta, mata ; as 
variant, munga. 

Alunghe mabbleli, a load— mungie, heap ; mabbile, 

Mie luggrata, fever — mie, sick ; luggra, hot ; ta, lie 

Alene ruggera, acrid — me, I ; ne, not ; nugara, drink ; 
compare Eastern tugana. 

Moie, muie, muggena, lips, nose — compare the 
Eastern muna, lips. The two liquids, if they were cer- 
tain to belong to the root, would well represent the 
movable parts of the face ; we have the Eastern mun- 
genna (ear) and mongtena (eye) to confirm this con- 
jecture. Then, again, we have the Eastern mokena, 
water, which might refer us to the moist parts of the 
head. Finally, we have mien, curved, v/hich might refer 
to the curved outlines of lips, nose, ears, etc. 

Nun oine, a greeting — nune, there; wiz^rpe, active; 
ne, you. 

Xire, good — nara, the very thing (needed), whence 
also — to heal. 

Nirabe, correct — nara, that ; pa, indeed ; that is it !■ 

Xarrawa, yes — doublet of nirabe. 

Neka, there — ne, that ; ka, yonder. 

Neggana, another — neka, that; na, that thing. 

Xaba, other — na, yonder thing; pa, indeed. 

X'ubre, eye — doublet of lebrena, leprena, a missile ; 
the power of vision sent forth like a lance ; compare 
" shooting glances." 

X^arramoiewa, enough — Xarra, that ; moi, to me ; wa, 
will do. 



Oghnemipe, answer — o, prosthetic ; kan, speak ; mi, 
to me ; pe, do. 

In the Vocabulary, p. xx., we find oghnamilce, ask, 
which H. Ling- Roth endeavours to improve to ogna- 
miHi (p. Ixix.). Tlie true solution is on p. xx., where we 
find oghnemipe, answer. The oghnamilce is thus evi- 
dently a badly transcribed ognamibe. An interesting 
variant of the word is oangana, inform, tell, evidently a 
form of kan-kan-a, speak with emphasis. 

Pakara, fling- — pa, forcibly ; kara, throw away. 

Papalawe, swallow (bird) — ^pe pe, very much ; li, 
moving; we, active. 

Papla, big — pa pal, very round, stout, strong. 

Panubre, sun — pa, big, powerful ; nubre, eye. 

Pallanubrana, sun — pa, big; la, round, moving-; 
nubra, eye. 

Papatongune, thunderstorm — pa pat, loud crash, 
(onomatopoetic), ngune, fire; or else — pa pa, very big; 
ton, falling. 

Poimatelina, lightning — pe, strike ; mate, dead ; lina, 
like a spear, 

Pawe, small, rascal— pe pe, mere dot, small ; com- 
pare German knabe, boy, and English knave, of no ac- 

Pawawe, small boy — pe pe pe, just a series of dots. 
We may also refer these two words to the " baby " group 
(v. supra). 

Panubratone, dusk — panubra, sun ; tone, set. 

Panga, pinga, leech, small caterpillar — pena, lance 

Putia, none — paw, little ; itia, dimin. ; kss than little, 
infinitely small, practically nothing. Here we have a 
curious possibility of the instinctive perception of the 
mathematical theory of limits. " Nothing-." being an ab- 
stract idea, was beyond the gi'asp of the Aboriginal 

Puda, smoke — putia, unsubstantial. 

Patingunabe, extinguish — pat, stamp ; onomatopetic, 
though it fits in with our " projection-^rest " ; ngune, 
fire; be, do. 

Poina, hair (dressed in sticks)), fragrance (issuing 
forth), entrails (in long strings), pettish (ready to take 


the offensive), facetious (compare '*' shafts of wit "), 
pime, bird (shooting through the air), pena, lance. 

Poenghana, laugh — pen, facetious ; kan, voice. 

Pallakanna, shout — ^^mighty voice. 

Poiete, head: — pena, erect figure ; ita, stop, end,, 

Poetarunna, skull — poet, head ; ren, running,, 

Poetakannapawenea, whisper — poet, head ; kan, 
voice ; paw, small ; ne, away, towards someone. 

Poieta kannabe, talk — poet, head ; kan, voice ; be, 

Poira kunnabea, talk — a doublet of the same ; instead 
of ita we have the rarer diminutive ira ; ina is more 
common ; bea, like nea in the previous word, has an 
epithetic a. 

Rialanna, air, breeze — ri, moving ; len, along. 

Rallana proiena, gale — rallana-==rrialanna ; proiena, 
big. Rallana ma}"^ also have affinity with ralla, strong. 

Rotuli, long, tall — rot, dry, hard ; li, long: grass. We 
may also refer it to rot, dry grass, ali, good. 

Ranna murina, inactive — ren, move ; mur, heavy ; in, 
somewhat : somewhat heavy or slow in moving. 

Ranga, knee — ren, flexible joint. 

Raggamutta, lame — ranga, knee ; mutta, thick, stiff. 

Roatta, hurt, injured — -from raga wuttar=raga mutta. 

Ruete, lazy — doublet of roatta. 

Riatta, gum tree — motionless thing, standing stifif- 

Retakunna, creak (of limbs of trees) — riatta, tree ; 
kan, voice, sound. 

Tramutta, pebble — tra, hard; mutta, thick, round. 

Trovs^atta, pebble — doublet of tramutta. 

Tawe, tape, takawbi, go — taka, heel; pe, active. 

Tikotte, hunger — tug, eat; kote, quickly, eagerly- 

Turra, winter, snow — doublet of Eastern tuna. 

Toina, hawk, pelican ; tanna, owl ; tene, rib — doublets 
of pene, lance. 

Uratte, frost, hoar-frost — doublet of waratte, paratte 



Una, fire — doublet of wina, stick, firewood ; or of 
ngune, from nagana, the " eater up," or even from 
ngonina, nagana, the flickerer, flapper. 

TJghana kanna nire, true — oana, speak ; kan, word ; 
nire, good. 

Warra, bark of tree — palla. round, sheh, ''' palhum." 

Warrane, blue sky — warra, vauh. 

Warrena, warrentinna, cloud in sky — warra, rounded 
mass ; tin, extensive. 

Waratte, hoar-frost. There seems to be an interest- 
ing interchange of meanings. Paratta, waratta are 
onomatopoetic, from the prattling noise of hail or the 
crackling of icicles ; but the ice forms a covering, like 
tark, and so we have the warra family of words, in touch 
Avith palla, parra, round. 

Warrawa, spirit of the dead — warra, cloud, appari- 
tion ; wa, active. 

Wina, fuel, stick, taste, feel, try, wake — pena, stretch 
out, active. 

Wia lutta, red charcoal — Vv-ia, wood ; lut, bright, 


Here we have some striking characteristics, different 
from those of the Eastern and Southern words ; but, 
when allowance has been made .for these, the words are 
found to be essentially the same. 

W^e notice at once a softer pronunciation of the con- 
sonants, b, d, g, for the Eeastern p, t, k. We also have 
the nominal suffix, lea, to take the place of the Eastern 
na. As a specimen of the extraorclinary spelling occa- 
sionally used b}' the recorders, we may note i-aynghlalea 
(bad), which seems to stand for the Eastern wiena-na 
(crooked). Such spelling might make the whole of the 
record doubtful but for the fact that there is a certain 
consistency underlying the spelling, which enables us to 
establish fairly reliable conclusions. We must bear in 
mind that the climate and ph}-siographical features of the 
West and North-West are singularly like those of the 
West of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and we need not 
be surprised if the intonation and articulation of the 



speech of Western Tasmania bears some analogy to 
that of the Gaelic, Welsh, and Erse. The following 
words are assigned to the North-West : — 

Eribba, cockatoo — e, prosthetic; li, flying; pa, active. 

Kocha, swan — ka ka, repeated cries ; or like Southern 
kuegi, round. 

Karkuka, parrot — ka ka ka, the same ; the cries 
would prevail in this case. 

Kaumilea, evening — compare Southern kawuta, red 

Kunrare, much talk — kan, voice, jaw; re-re, con- 
tinually moving. 

Ivunmunera, much talk — kan, noise ; mun, mouth ; 
ra, continuous. 

Talba, devil ; Eastern palla wa — strong, active, man, 

Terriga, walk— toka, foot, with r as infix of motion. 
Loyoranna, wind — li, swift ; ren, moving. 
Murdunna, star— par, pal, sun ; tinna, diminutive. 
Loina, sun — len, radiator, eye. 
Longa, ground — lug. resting place. 

From the Western Vocabulary we take : — - 

Benkelo, bullock — This form of pakalla, with the 
native infix n, seems strong evidence against the deriva- 
tion from "bullock." 

Belanilea, shadow — pal, solid ; ni, not ; lea, suffix. 

Boabennitia, grin, make faces — pa, make; pen, 
laugh ; itia, playfully. 

Gannemerara, come here — kan, call ; me, I ; ran, run. 

Gdulla, acid, sour — ^kot, little ; ali, good. 

Gnimuckle, aged- — kan, teeth; mu, lips; k, bad; le, 

Illetiape, rouse him — i, prosthetic; le, cjuick; tape, 

Marama, star — pal, sun ; inna, little. 

Lulla, foot — lug, foot ; lea, suffix. 

Lugh, foot — lug, without suffix. 

Lola, gun — le-na, spear, striking at a distance. 



Lullabi, loa.llibe, ship — lulla, foot, oar-beat ; ; pe„ 

Lugra nire, right foot — lug-na, foot ; nire, g-ood. It 
is significant that a distinction of usefuhiess was 
made between the right foot and the left. In MilH- 
gan's list, we find in the Eastern Vocabulary — luggana 
elibana, right foot ; lug, foot ; ali, good ; pa, strong, 
luaggan aoota, left foot ; lug, foot ; wutta, heavy. In 
the Southern — lugga worina, right foot ; lug, foot ; 
war — pal, strong; lugga oangta, lug, foot, wang'::=pen, 
stick, stiff; ta, stop, not elastic. In the Western 
and North-Western — malleare, right foot; pal, strong; 
lea, sufBx ; re, moving, foot ; oolatyneeale ; left 
foot ; pug, foot ; lea, suffix ; ta, not elastic ; no, not ; 
ali, good. We note also the shortening of the syllables 
in the Western words. 

Lialarragonna, sneeze — lia, quick ; lanna, sharp ;. 
kana, sound. 

Lanne, strike — len, swift motion. 


The NUMERALS are given by H. Ling Roth thus 
(P- 133):— 

ONE — marawah, mara, marrawan, borar, parmere,. 
pammere, marai, par-me-ry. 

■TWO — piawah, poi-erinna, pyanerbarwar, calaba- 
wah, boulah, katabouve, bura, cal-a-ba-wa. 

THREE— luwah, wyandirwar, aliri, cardia. 

FOUR — pagunta, wullyawah, cardia. 

FIVE — puggana, marah, karde, kardia. 

TEN — karde-karde. 

According to my theory of the Tasmanian speech, 
these words are far less perplexing than they appear 
here, and would show that the xAboriginals had no con- 
ception of abstract numbers, but merely of such notions 
as big, little, arm, hand. 

Anything noticed individually or rather, " pointed 
at," was pa, in some form or other, with emphatic repe- 
tition and nominal suffix ra or na. 



In the case of the hand or fist, a collection of five 
fingers which could be displayed or hidden, puga-na 
(solid, strong) would be the natural expression, while 
" four " w^ould be a hand with the thumb invisible, that 
is stopping short of completeness, expressed by pugan- 
ta, fist cut short. 

Mara, " one " or '' five,'' is also " the complete 
thing, one fist made up of five fingers," therefore palla, 
round, strong. 

The number three would be 'expressed by the word 
for " arm," the limb with three parts, two for the arm 
and one for the hand ; lu-pa, li-pa, strong limb, and the 
reduplicated a-li-ri, limb with hand, are words for 
" arm " and for " three." 

The number two was also beyond the grasp of the 
Aboriginals. They could see a thing' divided into two 
or more parts which were smaller than the whole had 
been. Now, " small " was expressed, as we have seen, 
by pawe and by koti or kata, and we find these words, 
in some form, in all the numbers after unity. As an 
alternative, we find for " two " boulah or bura ; these 
are forms of pala (big), and express the duad as an in- 
crease in bulk, not as a cutting up into smaller parts. 

Wullyawah (four) is another form of this, with the 
magnifying or perhaps duplicating pa as suffix. 

The diphthong in piawe, which we see again in 
poierinna, p3'^anerbarwar, wyandirwar, may well indicate 
a splitting up of a whole by the change from the single 
vow'cl sound to a composite one. 

Calabawah is probably a misprint for katabawa, 
which is simply kata + pawe ; we note the form kata- 
bouve in confirmation of this conjecture. 

Karde, or its diminutive form kardia, is simply kate 
(small) ; the more parts there are the smaller will be 
their size. 

Using uniform orthography, we get, therefore, the 
numerals in these forms : — 

ONE — pala-pa, pala, palapa, pala, pa-pala, papala, 
pala, papala. 


TWO — piawe, piawe-r-inna (with euphonic infix r 
and diminutive suffix), pia-na-pawe, kata pawe, pala, 
kata pawe, pala, kata, pawe. 

We note the frequency of the dupHcation of the 
whole w^ord, most appropriate in this case, and not 
found in any other number but " ten," whicli means 
■" two fives." 

THREE — ri-pa, pia-na-pa, h-ri, katia. 

FOUR — pagan-ta, pal-ia-pa, katia. 

FIVE — pugan-a, pala, kata, katia. 

TEN — kata-kata. 

The PERSONAL PRONOUNS recorded by H. 
Ling Roth (p. 184) may also be simplified. 

Mina, I, me, mine, has been accounted for. 

Ni-na, na-ra (nard is evidently a misprint for nara), 
neka, mean the " non ego," " that thing," " thou, he, she, 
it, you, they." 

Warrandur is given for "' we ;" but it is doubtful 
whether the Aborigines could grasp a collective notion ; 
e.g., they had no plural, and no word for forest, tribe, 
family. H. Ling Roth quotes from La P>illardiere and 
Peron — tagari-lia, my family ; but their informants had 
spoken of squalling babies; tagara means " to weep," 
and tagara-na, weepers. 

A more plausible explanation is that warrander (as 
Norman wrote it) is a form of warrane, which means 
■anything curved ; and its application to "we" was per- 
haps due to the circumstance that Norman, addressing 
one or more Aborigines, pointed to each in turn, be- 
ginning or finishing with himself, to indicate the present 
company (the we), and the latter only noticed the 
circular motion of his finger, and told him this was 
warrane (a circle), whereupon he put down warrane as 
the equivalent of " we." 

Thus, on considering the numerals and the personal 
pronouns, we again find the lowest possible stage of 
human thought, and that the four words again sufficed 
to express all that was required. 



H. Ling" Roth, in his discussion of the Tasmanian 
language (pp. 178 ff.), bases his remarks on the syntax 
chiefly on Fr. Miiller's Grundriss der Sprachwissen- 
schaft. As has been stated in the introduction, the pre- 
sent investigation is confined to tlie original records ; 
but it ma}' be pointed out, that from our dissection of 
the words it seems that these words themselves w'ere 
phrases, and that there is no trace of systematic acci- 
dence or syntax. 

In my Introduction to the study of the Aboriginal 
Speech of Tasmania, read on the i6th November, 1908, 
before this Societ};, I translated a song which has fortu- 
nately been preserved in three versions. For the sake 
of completeness and brevity, I repeat one of the ver- 
sions. The literal translation was : — " Might}-, run, fire, 
heel, my, speedy, foot, my, speedy, thou, come, run, 
bird, thou, very, great-man, man, very, great-man, hero." 
This was rendered in plain English thus : — " With might 
runs the bush fire; my heel, too, is speedy, and m}' foot 
is swift. Come thou, and run with the speed of ^ bird ! 
Thou art a real warrior, a man indeed, a warrior, a 
hero !"' 

In the records we have some phrases translated. I 
will briefly refer to them. 

Wilkinson's translation of a portion of Genesis is 
very short, and mixed with English words. We take 
the first four verses as specimens : — Trota, Godna po- 
male heavena coantana. Lewara crackne. Godna carne, 
tretetea, tretetea crackne. Godna capra tretetea lewarra. 

Godna and heavena are evidently English words. 
Capra is probably a misprint for lapra (see). Trota is 
a curious word. The mental development of the Abo- 
rigines had not advanced to abstract ideas ; so they 
could not tell Mr. Wilkinson the word for " beginning." 
Then he probably laid a row of stones on the ground, 
pointed to the first one. and asked what that was. He 
would expect the equivalent of " beginning," and the 
Aborigines told him it vvas trota or trowatta, a round 
stone or pebble ! We let it pass as meaning " begin- 
ning," and retranslate literally thus : — •" Beginning God 
make heaven earth. Dark rest. God speak light, light 
rest. God see Hght dark." 



Millig-an's sentences (pp. xli.-xliii.) give us little 
further light ; their general characteristics are the same 
as we have already discussed, with the possible excep- 
tion of ta being used as a postposition, as in mito (to 
me), neeto (to thee), nangato (to the father) ; its literal 
meaning is " stop there." It is even possible that this 
.«hows that postpositions were earher than prepositions ; 
but the basis of such a contention is as yet very frail. 

Indeed, in Milligan's sentences we meet with indubit- 
able datives without ta, e.g., Teeanymiape tugg-ane, 
Meeongyneeome — Give me some b^ead to eat, I am 
hungry. We dissect the phrase thus : — tiana, heap, 
give ; mia, me ; pe, do ; tugana, eat ; mie, not ; nagana, 
eat; me, me. 

In a previous sentence, Milligan had Loina tyenna- 
beah mito — Give me a stone. We dissect — lena, stone ; 
tiana, give ; pe, do ; mi, me ; to, stop. 

Fenton. in his History of Tasmania, has a very in- 
teresting extract from a sermon delivered by G. A. 
Robinson to the Aborigines, with an interlineated trans- 
lation. This document must have escaped H. Ling 
Roth's notice. Robinson's intimate acquaintance with 
;the Aborigines makes this record very valuable. 

Matty nyrae Parlerdee. Matty nyrae Parlerdee. 
One good 'God. One good God. 

Parleeva nyrae, parleeva loggernu, taggerar 
native good, native dead, go 

lowway waeranggelly. Parlerdee lowway 
up sky. God up. 

Nyrat raegee merrdy, nueberrae Parlerdee 
•'Good white-man sick, looks God 

waeranggelly, Kannernu Parlerdee. Nyrae 
sky speaks (prays) God. Good. 

Parlerdee neuberrac nyrae raegee timene 
God sees good white-man no 

merrydy. No-ailly parleeva loggernu, tageera 
sick. Bad native dead. goes 

toogunner, raegor roper, uenee maggerer 

down evil-spirit fire stops. 

Parleeva tyrer, tyrer, tyrer. Nyra parleeva 
-Native, cry, cry, cry. Good native 



maggerer Parlerdee Avaerang-gelly, timeiie 
stops God sk_v, no 

merrydy, timene taggathe. 
sick no hungering. 

The spelHng- is pecuHar, but the words can easily be 
identified. The phraseology is that of a man who had 
learnt to adapt his thoughts to those of his hearers. The 
translation is so far inaccurate as it implies accidence 
in the Tasmanian words, e.g., in speaks, sees. We note 
that his word for God is Pallerdee, that is palla ritia, 
powerful white-man ! The first word (matty, one), 
is not in H. Ling Roth's list ; it is evidently the same 
as matta — round like a ball, a pebble. If Robinson tried 
to get the native word for " one." he would probably 
take up a pebble to illustrate his meaning, and duly re- 
ceive the information that it was matta, a pebble, which 
he then would remember as the numeral " one," not 
realising that the Aborigines had no proper numerals 
at all. 

In Appendix D, H. Ling Roth gives some " Phrases 
and Songs after Braim."" There is an English version 
for the phrases, but it is not accurate ; there is none for 
the songs. I will take phrase 5 as a specimen. Adopting 
the uniform spelling and interlineating my own version, 
based on H- Ling Roth's lists, we get: — 

Malangtena mena take mulaga. Puti nara 
child stop me go hunt. Not there 

pamere lugana lika lugana krakane 
one kangaroo like kangaroo exist 

kate kate, ludawine pallawana nara 
many. White-man warrior there 

mokera nara mena lugana. Ritia teratittia 
clog there me • kangaroo. Man white 

tape tialena nara lowe, relbia mena 
go come there down violent act me 

malitiena mabile. Warrawe poietanate. 
white many. Spirit distracted. 

H. Ling Roth quotes as the English version : — When 
I returned to my country, I went hunting, but did not 
kill one head of game. The white men make their dogs 
wander and kill all the game, and they only want the 


A free but essentially more accurate version would 
be : — When I go hunting in my native place, I find not 
one kangaroo where there Avere wont to be man3\ The 
white warrior is there ; his dogs are where my kangaroos 
were. The white man goes and comes there and lies 
down to sleep. The white man has done many acts of 
violence to me ; my heart is broken. 

In Braim's songs, a characteristic phenomenon is the 
presence of a multiplicity of hyphens. These indicate 
the rhythmical tune and drum-beat to which the words 
W'cre sung, as v/e have observed in Mrs. Fanny Smith's 
song. Two songs will suffice for the present, to which 
I will add my version. The first is : — 

A re-na-too 



A re-na-too. 

In our spelling, we get 
A rena to 
Keta taipewa 

Mebrepa to (Mel is an error) 
A rena to. 

This means: O, run hither (to me) Little one, do 
come ! Fly to me ! O, run to me ! 

The second is : — 


This is characteristic of the child-like mind of the 
Aborigines. The words are merely : — Ne pamerewa, ne 
katapawe, twice over, and their meaning is : — " Here is 
one, look ! here are two !" 


It would be easy to add further examples in illustra- 
tion of my theory, for the material available is surpris- 
ingly ample ; and my notes are copious ; but it does not 
seem necessarv to do so. 


Throughout this demonstration, the arguments have 
been based on general principles which apply to all lan- 
guages. It would have been feasible and interesting to 
trace analogies between the Tasmanian speech and 
other languages, but it was necessary to confine our 
attention within narrower limits. 

A reader acquainted with the Greek dialects will no 
doubt recall many instances of interchange of conso- 
nant, of infixes, and of instability of vovv^els ; and similar 
phenomena can be discerned in other languages. Indeed, 
some of the roots seem to be of almost universal 

What I have endeavoured to do is to find the prin- 
ciples by which the speech of the primitive race of the 
Tasmanians was governed. It seems that the languages 
of the Australian continent are far more developed ; 
however, this is a subject for further research. 

It is curious to note the absence of spirant and 
sibilant sounds from the Tasmanian speech, and alsa 
from that of the Maori of New Zealand. The latter 
language is of very elaborate structure, and has been 
said to be akin to the Japanese. I do not possess suffi- 
cient information to be able to discuss this point, but 
it would certainly be interesting to discover, in case of 
such affinity being proved, how the Maori came to be 
without spirants or sibilants in their speech, while the 
Japanese still have at least some of them. 

The study of the Tasmanian language is hardly 
begun ; but, if that language really represents the very 
beginning of human speech, its investigation cannot fail 
to excite great interest among the scholars of the world. 

It seems at least probable that, as the individual and 
social life of the Tasmanian Aborigines was demon- 
strably at the lowest stage of human activity, their lan- 
guage, too, would be almost primitive and but one step 
removed from the inarticulate cry of an infant. Tliis 
consideration has incited me to endeavour to recon- 
struct the ancient speech of Tasmania. 


By T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S. 

(Read 12th July, 1909.) 

Some forty years ago I brought under the notice 
■of this society the Tertiary marine formation near the 
mouth of the River Inghs, and the underlying stretch 
of moraine matter, with large erratics, which extends 
eastward for a distance of about five miles. As a result 
■of a recent visit to this part of the coast I have to report 
the occurrence, off Woody Hill, near low-water mark, 
of a relic of the ancient forests of Tasmania preserved 
tmder somewhat peculiar conditions. 

The eastern boundary of the above-mentioned 
glacial drift, so far as is yet ascertainable, is nearly 
opposite the residence of Mr. C. J. Mackenzie. Here 
the ancient slates and schists come prominently into 
view at low tide, and about half a mile eastward they 
rise in a low bluff and pass under the basalt of Woody 
Hill to the south. To the east of this bluff in the hol- 
lows between the ridges of the ancient rocks, which are 
highly inclined and have a northerly strike, are masses 
of consolidated drift of a totally different character, the 
rolled pebbles in which are only such as might be de- 
rived from the indurated sandstones, slates, and schists 
that are the bed-rocks of the whole coast, and there- 
fore they are probably of local origin. This drift has been 
extensively denuded by the force of the seas breaking 
upon the shore during the gradual elevation of the 
■coast line in comparatively recent times, but probably 
extends southward under the low sand dunes and allu- 
vium which lie to the east of Woody Hill. Whether it 
is more recent than or anterior to the basalt of Woody 
Hill, which is of late Tertiary age, is at present uncer- 

BY T. STEPHENS, M.A.^ F.G.S. 83 

Partly embedded in this drift, which at one time 
must have deeply covered them, are the fragmentary 
remains of a large fossil tree with an estimated length 
of not less than sixty feet, the bulk of which has been 
removed by denudation. The 'external appearance 
somewhat resembles that of the fossil wood often found 
in the upper members of our Permo-Carboniferous 
series, but in this case the woody structure has not been 
silicified, and the attempts which I have had made to 
polish sections for closer examination have not been 
successful. There is much variety in the outer portions 
of exposed fragments .of the tree. Iron sulphides re- 
placing the organic tissues and becoming subsequently 
oxidised seem to have been the petrifying agents, and 
there are traces here and there of white iron pyrites 
(marcasite), or arsenical pyrites (mispickel) still unal- 
tered. The latter is very abundant in the coal measures 
of the Mersey district. Some portions have all the ap- 
pearance of siderite. The interior of the tree seems to 
have been little affected by the infiltration of iron in 
any form, and much of it is practically identical witli 
ordinary lignite. Judging from the arrangement of the 
stumps of branches, the form of the tree must have re- 
sembled that of a pine, and faint indications of mark- 
ings like the " pits " which are the distinguis'hing 
feature of coniferous wood may be seen here and there, 
but no definite conclusion can be come to under this 
head until after careful microscopical examination. All 
that can be said now is that the tree is probably a pine 
belonging to the Tertiary period, and that it came down 
some ancient river from the country now drained by 
the River Cam to its present position, where it ulti- 
mately with the gradual subsidence of the land became 
deeply embedded in the drift. 

Apart from the cjuestion of the history of this fossil 
tree, I take the opportunity to mention that, not far 
away, there is a group of large boulders resting on the 
upturned edges of the ancient rocks which have all the 
appearance of ice-borne erratics. They are more than 
half-a-m.ile distant from what I have described as the 
eastern boundary of the glacial drift, and their presence 
here calls for future investigation. Forty years ago 
there were numbers of massive boulders of granite, and 
of altered sandstones and limestones with fossils of 


Silurian type, partly embedded in the till between 
Woody Hill and Table Cape. At the present time I can 
find only two of them remaining, the rest, as I am in- 
formed, having been broken up for use as road metal ! 

As a postscript to this paper I have to report the 
receipt from Mr. Twelvetrees, Government Geologist, 
to whom I had sent specimens of the fossil tree, of a 
letter in which he says that " the Avood seems to be 
Tertiary. It is filled with marcasite, which has decom- 
posed largely to iron oxide, and it is now highly ferru- 
ginous." Mr. Twelvetrees also encloses a note from 
Mr. H. H. Scott, of the Victoria Museum, Launceston, 
who says of one of the specimens that " it proved, upon 
microscopical examination, to be a fairly fine-grained 
pine. Much of the structure was obscured, but the pre- 
sence of pyrites here and there gilded some of the tis- 
sues and left the details visible." Mr. Scott also sug- 
gests that from the arrangement of the " bordered pits " 
the tree appears to have belonged to the larger division 
of the pines, and not the more ancient Araucarian sec- 


By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 

(Read 12th July, 1909.) 

The observations here recorded are based on the 
examination of more than 5,000 specimens, all collected 
by myself chiefl}^ in the southern and central parts of 
Tasmania. The results derived from the study of such 
a large number may be taken as fairly accurate, yet I 
must consider them as preliminary only, because they 
are solely dependent on macroscopical observations, 
while the very important microscopical examination is 
still outstanding. I am aware that this is a serious draw- 
back, but the results obtained without the aid of the 
microscope are full of interest, and they will be a great 
help to those who may eventually take up the micro- 
scopical part. 

Brough Smith (i) was probably t'he first who recog- 
nised the nature of the rocks used by the Aborigines for 
t'heir implements, but it was left to Mr. Johnstone to 
ascertain the fact that " the cherty rock from which the 
natives of Tasmania for the most part manufactured 
their flints was undoubtedly derived from upper palaeo- 
zoic rnudstones, which are frequently metamorphosed 
into a cherty substance by contact with the later erup- 
tive greenstones " (2). Localities wliere this particular 
kind of rock occurs are not uncommon, and most of 
them, if not all, have been habitually visited by the 
Aborigines in order to obtain suitable pieces of rock. 

(i) The Aborigines of Victoria, London, 1878, Vol. II., 
Appendix, pages 400 and 401. 

(2) Geology of Tasmania, Hobart, 1888, page 334. 


In a paper previously read before this Society (i) I have 
demonstrated that another, probably still more impor- 
tant source where suitable substances were obtained 
from are the gravel deposits of glacial and recent 
age. It is needless to say that the pebbles contained in 
these gravels are in a secondary position, and they must 
have been derived from outcrops similar to those which 
were used as quarries. 

If the metamorphic theory is correct, it stands to 
reason that there must be a considerable number of 
varieties of cherty rocks. A metamorphosed sandstone 
must be considerably different from a rock whose origin 
is a shale. But not only are the primary rocks widely 
different in chemical composition, but each kind, 
whether sandstone, shale, or anything else, varies con- 
siderably. The cement which binds together the grains 
of quartz in the sandstone may be calcareous or sili- 
cious, and, above all, the percentage of iron varies con- 
siderably in each class of rock. It is therefore a priori 
very probable that a large number of varieties as to 
colour and other physical qualities must be the result 
of metamorphism, and I wish to deal in this paper with 
the main types that can be distinguished. 

Whenever a collection of native stone implements is 
made in the island, and such collection be sorted after- 
wards, it will be found that two large groups can be 
distinguis'hed at once, viz. — 

1. Volcanic rocks, 

2. Metamorphosed sedimentary rock of a highly 

siliceous nature. 

Though I propose to deal here only with the siliceous 
rocks, it will be advisable to say also a few words about 
the volcanic rocks. One fact becomes conspicuous at 
once — not a single chipped implement has been found 
that is manufactured from a volcanic rock. All the 
chipped implements, the tronattas s.s.; are invariably 
manufactured from the siliceous rocks. 

Not in a single instance has this rule been broken, 
and the reason for this is, as we will see later on, quite 

(i) Notes on a Chipped Boulder found near Kempton, 
" Pap. and Proceed. Roy. Soc, 1908." 


obvious. The implements m.ade of volcanic rocks, 
mostly if not exclusively of Diabas, consist of rounded 
natural pebbles, which were partly used as hammers, 
partly turned into sacred stones, and natural pieces of 
columnar Diabas most probably used as choppers, but 
they were never subjected to the elaborate flaking of 
the cherty rocks. 

The tronattas were exclusively manufactured from 
cherty rocks, and even the untrained collector will 
notice a large variet}- of colour. There are specimens 
of a deep jet-black, and others of a dazzling white ; there 
are rocks of a blood-red or a bright yellow colour; there 
are others of a grey tinge, and those of a more indif- 
ferent colour are too numerous to m'ention. In fact it 
seems that all the colours of the spectrum are repre- 
sented except that which is so common in another 
island of the Pacific, the green of the New Zealand 
stone implements. 

On closer examination it will be noticed that besides 
the colour there are other differences in the appearance, 
and after a short time the observer will be able to dis- 
tinguish at least four different main types of the siliceous 
rocks. These are : — 

1. Chert, or preferably called Hornstone (i). 

2. Porcellanite. 

3. Breccia. 

4. Other siliceous rocks not mcluded under the 

above headings, such as Chalcedony, Wood- 
Opal, Fossil Wood, Quartz. 

I. CHERT OR HORNSTONE.— This is generally 
a finely-grained rock, showing a dull lustre, but a fine 
conchoidal fracture. Its colour varies from a light grey 
to almost jet black. Dark grey and bluish tinges are 
the most frequent ; light grey is somewhat rarer ; and a 
dark reddish-brown colour is the rarest of all. On the 
whole the colour of the hornstones is soniewhat dull, 
and the bright tinges exhibited by the next group have 
so far not been observed amone the hornstones. Fre- 

(i) Dana, System of Mineralogy 


quently the colour is streaky, darker and lighter coloured 
bands regularly alternating, particularly in the grey 

Tronattas made of hornstone are unquestionably the 
most common. As stated in a previous paper, horn- 
stone was obtained from Clarke's quarry (Mount Com- 
munication), Johnstone's quarry (Coal Hill, Melton- 
Mowbray), Hutchison's quarry (Front shelves run, 
Beaufront, Syndal), Nichols' quarry (Melton-Mowbray), 
and probably also from Bisdee's quarry (Great Lake) 
and Walker's cjuarry (River Plenty). x\t most of these 
quarries a dark blue hornstone was obtained, only at 
Nichols' quarry and the eastern part of Hutchison's 
quarry a grey hornstone occurs. This seems to indicate 
that the blue hornstone is of more frequent occtuTence 
than the grey one, a fact which is borne out by the 
number of implements manufactured from either rock. 

The hornstone has a peculiar chemical feature not 
observed in the other kinds of rocks used for imple- 
ments ; when exposed to the action of the atmosphere 
it becomes coated with a peculiar earthy-looking crust 
of whitish or more frequently yellow or rusty-brown 
colour. This " patina " so compbtely covers the rock 
that it IS frequently impossible to ascertain its true 
colour without breaking the specimen, or at least strik- 
ing off a small particle. There can be not the slightest 
doubt that the patina is the result of a superficial 
chemical decomposition, the more soluble elements 
were removed, while the less soluble, in particular iron 
and alumina, were left behind. But not only do the stone 
implements show this crust, in a still higher degree is it 
exhibited by the rock as found in the quarries in situ, 
where it often attains as much as three-quarters of an 
inch in thickness. 

The tronattas are usually covered with a thin patina 
only, which in no way obliterates the sharp edges pro- 
duced by chipping. There are, however, other speci- 
mens in which the patina has reached such a thickness 
that the original chipping begins to disappear. There 
can be no doubt that the thickness of the patina is a func- 
tion of time, and the thicker it is the older is the imple- 
ment. Unfortunately no data are available, to estimate 
the number of years it takes to form a patina of a certain 


thickness. The process must, however, be a very slow 
one. At Maryvale I found some specimens which were 
unquestionably re-chipped. Though this must have been 
done at the very least 75 years ago, the later fractures 
did not show even a trace of patina, but exhibited the 
deep jet-black of the hornstone, strangely contrasting 
with the whitish patina which covered the whole sur- 
face. This being so, I doubt whether we will ever be 
able to ascertain this factor, because it is imquestion- 
able that centuries must lapse before any patina of any 
appreciable thickness is formed. There is, however, no 
doubt that if by the combined work of generations this 
factor could be ascertained, one of the most valuable 
data for the estimation of the length of the past would 
be obtained. 

When exposed to the action of blown sand, the 
hornstone takes a fine polish, exhibiting a peculiar shiny 
lustre, quite different from the original dull one. Blown 
sand, however, apparently prevents the formation of a 

The heat of fire affects the hornstone in a peculiar 
way; the surface becomes covered with a number of fine 
cracks, generally running in parallel lines, and connected 
by short cross cracks. It appears that these cracks are 
only superficial, and never penetrate deeply into the 
stone. If such a cracked hornstone is exposed to the 
air parts of its surface commence to break off, leaving 
a rough jagged surface, which greatly differs in appear- 
ance from the even, smooth surface produced by flaking. 
There is no doubt that in this v/ay the finest tronatta 
can be destroyed beyond recognition. 

The natural crust which is still preserved in a 
number of specimens is always more intensely affected 
by the heat than the original stone. It breaks into a 
number of irregular polygonal pieces, strangely re- 
sembling a tesselated pavement in miniature. 

Hornstone flakes exceedingly well, and with a little 
practice large flakes, showing- a fine, flat face and a sharp 
cutting edge can be struck off a larger block. There 
can be no doubt, however, that in certain instances the 
blow must have been carried out with tremendous force. 
The largest specimen I have so far found measures 7.4 


inch in length, having a weight of 3j^lb. It is safe to 
assume that this specimen was struck off a block of 
much larger size, and, what is still more remarkable, 
the plane face (pollical face), which has a siiperficial 
area of about 17 square inches, cuts the lines of strati- 
fication at a right angle. If the cleaving had been done 
along the line of bedding it might perhaps be easier to 
understand how such a large plane could be the result 
of a single blow; but as it cuts it at a right angle, the 
blow which struck this specimen off must have been 
administered with tremendous force. It is probably the 
fine flaking qualities that made the hornstone the 
favourite material used for the tronatta, and there can 
also be no doubt that the valued " mora trona," the 
black flint of the vocabularies, specially refers to horn- 

While the true cretaceous flint of Europe is a sedi- 
mentary siliceous rock, the hornstone of Tasmania is of" 
different origin. Primarily it is a sedimentary rock.but 
this sedimentary rock has subsequently been altered by 
the eruption of volcanic rocks such as diabas or basalt. 

According to the nature of the original rock, a large 
number of varieties were produced, but foremost of all 
are dark blue and grey varieties, showing an extremely 
fine banded texture. For the present I am unable to 
say anything about the original rock, because none of 
the quarries shows the gradual passage from the unal- 
tered to the highly metamorphosed rock ; but there is 
every probability that the original rock was a finely- 
grained, thinly-bedded s'hale, such as occur in the coal 
measures of Permian age. 

I have taken the specific gravity of 19 specimens of 
hornstone collected at different localities, which are 
given in the subjoined table : — 

1. Grey Plornstone, from Mona YslIq 2.500 

2. Blue Hornstone, from Mona Vale 2.506 

3. Blue Hornstone, Syndal Quarry 2.610 

4. Reddish Brown Hornstone. Mona Vale .... 2.616 

5. Blue Hornstone, Syndal Quarry 2.631 

6. Blue Hornstone, Mona Vale 2.644 

7. Dark Grey Hornstone, Mona A^ale 2.645 

8. Dark Blue Hornstone, Kempton 2.666 

9. Blue Hornstone, Kempton 2.679 


10. Grey Hornstone, Mona Yale 2.681 

11. Dark Blue Hornstone, Mona Vale 2.701 

12. Grey Streaky Hornstone, Melton Mowbray 2.701 

13. Blue Hornstone, Johnstone's Quarry, Mel- 

ton Mowbray 2.703 

14. Grey Streaky Hornstone, Melton Mowbray 2.735 

15. Blue Hornstone, Johnstone's Quarry, Mel- 

ton Mowbray 2.746 

16. Blue Hornstone, Mona Vale 2.750 

17. Blue Hornstone, Johnstone's Quarry, Mel- 

ton Mowbray 2.761 

18. Grey Hornstone, Nichols' Quarry, Melton 

Mowbray 2.780 

19. Lig'ht Grey Hornstone, Mona Vale 2.847 

The above figures prove at once that the Tasm'anian 
Hornstone is rather a heavy rock ; the average specific 
gravity being 2.687, it will be seen that only two speci- 
mens are under 2.600, while all the others are well above 
this. The figures for specimens obtained directly from 
the quarry are rather interesting. They are for : — 

Hutchison's Quarry, Syndal — a very dark blue horn- 
stone — 

(3) 2.610. 
(5) 2.631. 
Johnstone's Quarry, Coal Hill, Alelton Mowbray — ■ 
a dark blue hornstone — 
(13) 2.703. 
(15) 5.746. 

(17) 2.761. 

Nichols' Quarry, Melton Mowbray — a grey horn- 
stone — 

(18) 2.780. 

These figures seem to indicate that the hornstone 
from different places varies somewhat, and that, strange 
to say, the light grey variety is the heaviest of all, while 
the dark blue stone found in Hutchison's quarry is, con- 
trary to expectations, the lightest of all. On the other 
hand, the figures for one and the same locality vary, 
and I am afraid that, however tempting it may be to 
ascertain the locality from wliich a certain implement 
came by means of the spec, gravity, it is impossible to 
do this for the present. 


2. PORCELLANITE. — This is a much coarser 
grained rock than hornstone, ahvays showing a shiny 
waxy lustre, thereby strongly differing from the dull 
hornstone. Its colour varies from a pure white to 
almost black ; most frequent are red, yellow, and brown 
tinges ; grey is not infrequent, the dark tones being the 
rarest ; sometimes several colours, for instance red and 
yellow, alternate, and the rock becomes streaky. 

Tronattas made of porcellanite are much less fre- 
quent, and so far I know of only two localities where 
porcellanite is fomid in situ. One is near Pontville sta- 
tion, and this Avas used as a quarry (Weston's Quarry) ; 
the other is an outcrop near Maryvale, which, however, 
was probably never worked. In AVeston's Quarry the 
colour of the rock varies from white through grey and 

Porcellanite never shows a patina, and this proves 
that its chemical composition must considerably differ 
from that of hornstone. 

The fracture is conchoidal, and some of the porcel- 
lanites flake as well as hornstone ; yet it was a much less 
favourite rock than the latter. I believe the reason for 
this is the coarser grain, because tronattas made of por- 
cellanite are generally never so elaborately worked as 
those of hornstone. 

Blown sand does not affect the porcellanite as much 
as the hornstone. Of course it also gets the peculiar 
coating due to this cause, but inasmuch as it has a shiny 
lustre of its own, the blown sand does not affect it much. 

The heat of fire acts quite differently on porcellanite. 
Instead of a multitude of superficial cracks there are 
only a few, which divide the rock in small polygonal 
pieces of rather peculiar appearance, such as are found 
in Weston's Quarry, near Pontville station. If exposed 
to a very strong heat porcellanite apparently loses its 
waxy lustre, and becomes dull ; at the same time the 
surface gets covered with a 'glassy coat. 

Porcellanite is, like hornstone, a metamorphosed 
sedimentary rock, and at Pontville it can be distinctly 
seen that it is an altered sandstone. Opposite the rail- 
wa}'' station the western hills are formed of sandstone, 


and immediately on tlie other side of the hne the poroel- 
lanite occurs, which in its turn is fohowed by Diabas. 
Thoug"h the Hne of contact is not clearly seen, there 
can be no doubt as to the true relations of Diabas. por- 
cellanite, and sandstone. The specific gravity of 12 
specimens is as follows : — ■ 

1. White Porcellanite, Weston's Quarry, Pont- 

ville 2.308. 

2. Wliite Porcellanite, Weston's Quarry, Pont- 

ville . . . . 2.346 

3. Red Porcellanite, Melton Mowbray 2.362 

4. Vvhite Porcellanite, Weston's Quarry, Pont- 

ville 2.382 

5. Grey Porcellanite, Melton iVIowbray 2.500 

6. Grey Porcellanite, Mona Vale 2.506 

7. White Porcellanite, Melton Mowbray . . . . 2.522 

8. Red Porcellanite, Weston's Quarry, Pont- 

ville . 2.558. 

9. Brown Porcellanite, Old Beach 2.566 

10. Pink Porcellanite, Ivempton 2.578 

11. Reddish Grey Porcellanite, Kempton . . . . 2.654 

12. Dark, nearly black Porcellanite, Mona Vale 2.700 

The average specific gravity is 2.498, and the above 
figures seem to indicate that as a rule the coloured 
varieties are heavier than the white ones, and that the 
darker tinges are again heavier than the lighter ones. 
If these few figures permit of such a conclusion, it seems 
that the specific gravity increases with the following- 
scale of colour : — 

Lightest Heaviest 

White . . Grey . . Red . . Brown . . Black 

As the colour is unquestionably dependent on a certain 
percentage of, iron, this peculiarity explains itself. 

3. BRECCIA. — Under this heading I include all 
those siliceous rocks used in the manufacture of tro- 
nattas in which angular fragments are embedded in a 
linely-grained matrix of different colour. The colour 
of both fragments and the matrix varies a good deal, 
but most common is a yellow or brown matrix contain- 
ing lisfhter-coloured frag-ments. 


The fracture is splintery, and, though a little con- 
choidal, the breccia does not flake as well as hornstone 
or porcellanite. 

Like porcellanite, the breccia never develops a 
patina, but when exposed to blown sand it takes a fine, 
smooth polish. Fire acts differently on oreccia — in fact 
the result is more like that of chalcedony than of either 
hornstone or porcellanite. The whole specimen is 
covered by numerous cracks, intersecting each other in 
all directions, but apparently not penetrating deeply into 
the interior. 

Breccia is much less frequently used for implements, 
then either of the foregoing rocks, and I never found a 
specimen showing careful chipping on the indical face. 
All tronattas consisting of breccia are of the crudest 
types. I think that this is due to the inferior qualit}' of 
die fracture, but in particular to its splintery nature. 

Breccia does not seem to occur very frequently. 
Only one actual outcrop is known to me, at Droughty 
Point. The rock occurs here in large, loose blocks and 
boulders, lying near the shore on the top of a volcanic 
rock. There is no doubt that this occurrence has been 
made use of by the Aborigines, though it cannot be 
termed a regular quarry, but the ground close to these 
boulders contains a large number of implements which 
have been manufactured from this breccia. Mr. Stephens 
kindly told me that there is another occurrence near 
Ulverstone, and it appears that the tronattas found near 
Devonport were derived from that source. 

Geologically speaking the breccia is perhaps the 
most interesting of all. There can be no doubt that the 
Droughty Point breccia must be considered as a de- 
posit of hot springs. In fact it is a silica sinter, as is 
conclusively proved by the fine banded texture of the 

On the other hand, the beautiful black and white 
breccia from Mona Vale appears to be a true breccia 
porphyry. Here the molten magma penetrated through 
a conglomerate, breaking it up into angular fragments, 
which floated in the magma, and became thereby meta- 
morphosed. It further appears that a certain group of 
'.rocks found near Margate, which I provisionally classify 


with the breccia, is a really micro-crystalline porphyry 
of yellow colour. It is impossible to decide these ques- 
tions without a microscopical examination, but should 
this be carried out the most interesting results are cer- 
tain to be obtained. 

I determined the specific gravity of ii different 
pieces, which gave the following figures : — 

1. Red Breccia, Drouglity Point 2.540 

2. Brown Breccia, Droughty Point 2.588 

3. Grey Breccia, Droughty Point 2.590 

4. Red Breccia, Drought}^ Point 2.610 

5. Brown Breccia, Droughty Point 2.616 

-6. Brown Breccia, Droughty Point 2.621 

7. Red Breccia, Bellerive 2.653 

8. White and Black Breccia, Mona Vale .... 2.654 

9. Grey, Streaky Breccia, Droughty Point . . 2.655 

10. Red Breccia, Droughty Point 2.686 

11. Brown Breccia, Droughty Point 2.782 

The average specific gravity is 2.636, but it does not 
seem that there is a connection between colour and 
specific gravity. The range is apparently a much smaller 
■one, as there is only 0.242 difference between the lightest 
and the heaviest variety examined. 


This group includes rather a heterogenous mixture 
of siliceous minerals, which have been provisionally 
placed together. It is remarkable to note that not a 
single implement made of any of this mineral has come 
under my notice which shows a good finish. All the 
specimens are of the very crudest type, and generally 
mere fragments only. The reason is obvious. None of 
them except wood opal shows that fine conchoidal frac- 
ture which is so essential for a good tronatta. Chalce- 
dony in its numerous varieties has a very splintery, 
rough fracture, which is still stronger in the ordinary 
quartz. Wood opal has a fine conchoidal fracture, but 


it appears that it is too soft for rough use. Anyhow,. 
none of these minerals played an important role in the 
economic life of the Aborigines. 

The heat affects these minerals in a way quite dif- 
ferent from hornstone or porcellanite. In wood opal the 
fire produces a few cracks, wiiich appear to penetrate 
deeply into the interior. The cracks are rather irregular, 
fairly wide apart; in somewhat this comes closest in ap- 
pearance to hornstone, but the cracks are more ir- 
regular, further distant, and deeper. 

Very different is the appearance of the white, milky 
chalcedony. This is intersected by a large number of 
irregular cracks running in all directions, and pene- 
trating through the whole mass of the specimen. A 
more brownish rather transparent chalcedony shows the 
same features, part of the surface is broken off, and 
instead of the smooth surface produced by flaking, it is 
rough and jag'ged. 

These pieces of chalcedony resemble very closely to 
the famous cracked flints from the Oligocene of Thenay 
in France ; in fact, the darker specimen can hardly be 
distinguished from the E,uropean ones. 

The examination of 11 specimens gave the following' 
results for specific gravity : — 

1. Opaque Wood Opal, Maryvale . . . . ■. . . . 1.940 

2. White Chalcedony, Maryvale 2.289 

3. White Chalcedony, Baskerville 2.433 

4. Milky Opaque Chalcedony, Mona Vale .... 2.436 

5. Fossil Wood, Mona Vale 2.465 

6. Wood Opal, Mona Vale 2.533 

7. Chalcedony, Melton Mowbray 2.583 

8. Do., Melton Mowbray 2.592 

9. Do., Melton Mowbray 2.606 

10. Fossil Wood, Droughty Point 2.666 

11. Milky Quartz, Mona Vale 2.680 

The average specific gravity, if it be permissible to 
take it of such a heterogenous group, would be 2.472. 

Before proceeding any further, I must explain why 
I never mentioned the hardness. The old method of 
determining the hardness of a mineral or a rock is a 


most crude and unsatisfactory one. If determined in 
this way, all the rocks and minerals here enumerated 
have exactly the same hardness, namely, that of quartz ; 
that is to say about seven, though this would probably 
represent the maximum. The hardness of the rocks 
here mentioned ranges between 6 and 7, though most 
will be about 6.5 tO' 6.75, but it would be absolutely im- 
possible to distinguish the finer grades, which are cer- 
tain to exist. If determination of hardness were made,, 
it should be carried out according to the more im- 
proved methods suggested by Rossival, but this is a 
very tedious operation, which requires a lot of me- 
chanical appHances not at my disposal. It is therefore 
unnecessary to make a special reference to the hardness,. 
because it. must be a matter of course that rocks con- 
sisting mostly of silica must have a hardness closely 
approaching to that of quartz. I fail to understand why 
under these circumstances Herr Klaatsch could have 
stated that the rocks used in the manufacture of tro- 
nattas were rather soft. This is by no means the case 
— in fact some of the grey hornstones appear to be 
harder than flint, the ordinary material of the European 
rocks. Herr Klaatsch's statement is one of those super- 
ficial observations by which this author has gained rather 
a notoriety, and in this particular case his erroneous 
opinion is either due to insufficient mineralogical know- 
ledge or insufficient material, or both. 

When we compare the specific gravity of the rocks 
here mentioned we obtain some rather interesting re- 
sults. Taken as a whole we have : — 

1. Hornstone. — Range, 2.500 — 2.847; difTerencCj^ 
0.347 ; average, 2.687. 

2. Porcellanite. — Range, 2.308 — 2.700; difTerence, 
0.392 ; average, 2.498. 

3. Breccia. — Range, 2.540 — 2.782; difference, 0.242; 
average, 2.636. 

4. Others. — Range, 1.940 — 2.680; difference, 0.740; 
average, 2.472. 

It will be seen that the breccia shows the smallest 
difference between extremes, while that of the fourth 
group has, as might be expected, the largest. Horn- 
stone and porcellanite show a fairly wide range, which 


seems to indicate a rather varying composition of 
tlie original rock from Which they are derived. Horn- 
stone is the heaviest of all, and it is closely followed by 
the breccia, while there is a considerable difference be- 
tween these two and porcellanite, as will be seen from 
the following figures : — 

Hornstone, 2.687; 

Difference, 0.051, 
Breccia, 2.636 ; 

Difference, 0.138. 
Porcellanite, 2.498 ; 

Difference, 0.022. 
Others, 2.472. 

According to these figures there is less difference 
in the specific gravity of the more pure siliceous mine- 
rals and the porcellanite than between the porcellanite 
on the one side and the breccia and hornstone on the 
other. If a conclusion can be drawn from this, it seems 
to indicate that the porcellanites are a fairly pure sili- 
ceous rocks with a comparatively small admixture of 
other substances, while in the breccia, but particularly 
the hornstone, the percentage of non-siliceous matter 
must be fairly high. 

If we compare these rocks to other substances, the 
following table of specific gravity will be of interest: — 

Obsidian buttons, average 2.388, maximum 2.500, 
minimum 2.312. 

Fragment of white glass, 2.424. 
Fragment of green bottle glass, 2.674. 
Flint Salzinnes (Belgium), 2.565. 
Flint St. Symphorien (Belgium), 2.535. 

The heavy weight of the green bottle glass is most 
conspicuous, and, as we know that this is chiefly due to 
■ the high percentage of iron, the conclusion I have drawn 
with reference to the hornstone and breccia is well sup- 

Now, if we take the specific gravity of the cretaceous 
flint to be 2.500 — 2.600, we can arrange the rocks here 
described in a verv illustrative table. Tliev are : — 



o a 


















































If calculated in per cents, this table can be condensed 
to a little one, particularly if we assume three groups of 
specific gravity in comparison to flint, viz., lighter, equal, 
and heavier than flint. We have then 

Specific Gravity 

lower than 2.500 

lighter thau 


Specific Gravity 

2.500 to 2.600 

equal to 


specific Gravity 

more than 2.600 

heavier than 




45-4 % 

10.5 % 
27.2 % 

41-6 °/o 
27.2 % 

S9-4 % 
72-7 % 
16.6 % 
27.2 % 


18.8 % 

24-5 % 

56.6 % 

This table is of the greatest interest, because it 
proves that the majority of the rocks used for the manu- 
facture of the tronatta were considerably heavier than 
flint, from which the European eolithes and arohaeo- 
lithes were made. 

These figures will be more illustrative still if we 
compare the ratio of frequency of the different kind of 
Tocks used in the manufacture of tronatta. The follow- 
ing figures are arranged according to localities: — 





per cent. 


per cent. 



per cent. 


per cent. 


per cent. 


c'l: a 
per cent. 


per cent. 




I. Hornstone 









2. Porcellanite 

; 26.2 


II. 8 






3. Breccia .. 









4. Others 

1 ^-' 








The average figures, based on the examination of , 
such a large number as 5,000 specimens, conclusively 
prove the preponderance of hornstone. We may say 
almost eight out of every 10 tronattas are made of horn- 
stone, and, in comparison to it, the use of the other 
rocks is insignificant. Next to hornstone comes the 
porcellanite, while the use of breccia and other rocks is 
very limited. 

The figures obtained for these seven localities are 
rather interesting, inasmuch as they seem to prove that 
the selection of the rocks was influenced by local condi- 
tions. In the neighbourhood of Hobart, wdiere horn- 
stone is rather rare, while porcellanites and in particular 
breccia are common, the last two rocks sliow a much 
higher percentage than at any other place. There is no 
outcrop of hornstone known to me near Hobart — cer- 
tainly not one that has been used by the Aborigines. 
The nearest quarries— Clark's Quarry, or Mount Com- 
munication and Walker's Quarry, near Plentv. are 
about 20 to 22 miles in a straight line. Johnstone s and 
Nichols' Quarries are about 30 miles distant. Inless 
we assume' that the Aborigines broke the stone at these 
quarries and carried it to their camping grounds, near 
Geilston and Old Beach— a view which is not very prob- 
able—we must suppose that they collected the rough 
stone locally in gravel deposits. The proportion m 
which the different rocks occur in these deposits is there- 
fore reflected in the above figures. Where quarries were 
handv, at places like Mona Vale, Mount ^lorriston— 
Trefusis, and Melton Mowbray, the hornstone was used 
in preference to all other rocks. It seems, however, 
remarkable that at Shene, but particularly at Maryvale, 



where no quarry is known to be near except the porcel- 
lanite outcrop (Weston's Quarry) near Pontville, the 
percentage of hornstone reaches the highest figure, and 
that, though a porcellanite quarry was handy, the per- 
centage of that rock is not more than 11.8 per cent, of 
the total. This seems to prove more than anything the 
preference for the hornstone. 

To me all this seems to show that though the horn- 
stone was by far the most valued rock, and if possible 
was used in preference to any other, porcellanite and 
breccia were made use of only when the supply of horn- 
stone was not ample. 

Now, if we compare 'how many specimens would be 
lighter, equal, and heavier to flint, according to the 
above figures for the frequency of occurrence we find 

Average per- 
centage of 



lighter than 




equal to 




heavier than 


Breccia ... 

78.35 % 
4.78 % 

4-91 % 


4-97 % 

8.30 % 

4-97 % 

70.04 % 

3-47 % 

1-33 % 



7.27 % 

15.90 % 

76.82 % 

In comparing this table with that on page 15, it 
seems at the first glance that there is a great discrepancy 
T^etween the ratio of lighter, equal, and heavier than 
flint. It must be borne in mind that the 53 specimens 
whose specific gravity was determined were not selected 
■according to the proper ratio of occurrence. In order 
to bring the two tables in harmony I ought to have 
•ascertained the specific gravity of 78 hornstones, 12 por- 
cellanite, 5 breccia, and 5 others, or at the reduced 
ratio of say 16 — 3 — i — i, while the actual determination 
was made at the ratio of 

Hornstone. Porcellanite. Breccia. Others. 
.2 III 


In other words, if the determination of the specific 
gravity had been carried out in proportion to the fre- 
quency of occurrence, I ought to have determined it off 
i6 pieces of hornstone and 3 pieces of porcellanite for 
every one piece of breccia, and others that I examined. 
But instead of this I weighed only two pieces of horn- 
s'tone (that is to say, one-eighth of the number that 
should have been 'examined) for one piece of breccia and 

This explains, therefore, the difference in the figures, 
and it is obvious that those of the last table represent 
the actual figures. If I therefore collect 100 tronatta 
there will be 

Heavier than flint 76 specimens, composed of 70 
hornstone, 3 breccia, 2 porcellanite, i other. 

Equal to flint 16 specimens, composed of 8 horn- 
stone, I breccia, 5 porcellanite, i other. 

Lighter than flint 7 specimens, composed of o horn- 
stone, o breccia, 5 porcellanite, 2 others. 

Therefore, taking weight for weight, 100 tronatta 
were considerably heavier than 100 European imple- 
ments of exactly the same size. 

The above investigation has conclusively proved that 
there is a great variety of rocks used in the manufacture 
of the tronatta. This variety of substances stands in a 
sharp contrast to the monotony of the material used in 
the manufacture of the European implements. For 
eolithes and archaeolithes nothing else but the well- 
known flint of cretaceous age was used, at least as far 
as I can judge from the collections at my disposal. The 
eolithes from the Mafflien, in Belgium, seem to form 
the only exception, inasmuch as a dark blue hornstone,. 
somewhat resembling that from Johnstone's or Hut- 
chison's quarry, has been used. Variety of material and 
monotony of the same are the chief distinguishing 
feature of an otherwise undistinguisiiable collection of 
eolithes and archaeolithes from Tasmanian and Europe. 


By Fritz Noetling, Ph.D., Etc. 

(Read 9th August, 1909.) 

The 'enquiry into the name given by the Aborigines 
to their stone implements led naturally to a further en- 
quiry into the names of rocks and minerals distinguished 
by that race. The result is interesting enough ; in 
several instances the literal meaning of the words used 
would be ascertained, and the meaning of other words 
which v\^ere rather a puzzle could be made out with a 
tolerable amount of certainty. 

Though primarily meant to be a collection of the 
names of minerals and rocks, it was unavoidable to dis- 
cuss other subjects which apparently had no direct con- 
nection with minerals. Yet these studies throw such a 
curious light on the mental condition of the Aborigines, 
•that, instead of being a mere collection of names, this 
paper rather deals with a number of questions connected 
with the life of this primitive race. 

I need hardly to say that I am not a trained philolo- 
gist, and some of my deductions may be wrong. If so, 
I shall he only too pleased if anyone who has got a 
'better knowledge than I will correct me. The matter is 
of great importance. The more we learn, even about 
the mental capacity of the Tasmanian Aborigines, the 
greater vi^ill be the assistance rendered to the study of 
the archaeolithic race of Europe. 

It will perhaps be best to review the native words 
for minerals and rocks, irrespective of their nature, in 
alphabetical order, in order to establish some facts to 
go on with (i). 

(i) It will also be noticed that a few substances such as 
charcoal or red ochre, the first of which is certainly not, and the 
second of which can hardly be called a natural produce, are 
included in this list. However, both being closely connected 
with some of the minerals, I thought it better not to omit them 
from the list. 


1. COAL. — I can only find one word for coal, viz., 
" Conara," in Calder's vocabulary, who quotes d'Entre- 
casteaux as his authority ; but it is apparently not con- 
tained in any other vocabulary. 

Coal was of no value to the Aborigines, and it is 
more than probable that they took very little notice of 
it. As, however, coal seams crop out closely to the sea 
shore -at the localities visited by d'Entrecasteaux, there 
is every probability that a specimen lying amongst the 
rubble on the beach was found by him or his men, and 
its name ascertained by questioning an Aborigine. 

2. CHARCOAL. — ^Though not exactly a mineral, I 
find it convenient to include this substance in my list. 
According to Milligan the words are — 

Eastern Tribes — Maweena. 
Southern Tribes — Loarra. 

La Billiardiere and Peron both use the word 


stating that this means charcoal reduced to powder, 
with which they cover their bodies. Now, there is no 
doubt that Loarra and Loira are identical, but it will be 
seen that this word is very dififerent from that one as 
used by the Eastern Tribes. 

Now, one of the most characteristic features of char- 
coal is its blackness, and if we look up under the bead-" 
ing " black " we find — 

Eastern Tribes — Mawback and Mawbanna. 
Southern Tribes — Loaparte. 

We also find 

Dirtyrr^mawpa and mawpack. 

" Dirty " and " black " are therefore synonymous^ 
exactly as '' clean " and " white." 

In the words for " black ' ' we have undoubtedly the 
same words as those used for charcoal, and we may 
therefore take it that there existed no proper name for 
charcoal ; it was simply called " (the) black " from its 


foremost quality, and in its ordinary condition it was 


When powdered it was probably 


It is remarkable that there is so little similarity be- 
tween the words for coal and charcoal, two substances 
which are so very alike as far as colour is concerned. 
There may be a connection between 
Co(n)a-ra and 
but this requires further proof. 

3. CLAY AND EARTH.— Milligan gives the fol- 
lowing words : — 

(a) Clay. 

Eastern Tribes — Pannoga-na malittye. 
Southern Tribes — Pappalye mallee. 

(b) Dirt (mud of whitish colour). 

Eastern Tribes — Panoga-na maleetya. 
Southern Tribes — Manna-na mallye. 

(c) Dirt (mud dried). 

Eastern Tribes — Penga-na rutta. 

Southern Tribes — 'Manna-na rulle. ■ 

(d) Dirt. 

Eastern Tribes — Penga-na. 
Southern Tribes — Manna-na. 

(e) Earth (mould). 

Eastern Tribes — Penga-na. 
Southern Tribes — Manna-na. 

Two more words for earth, viz., 

Gunta (Dooe) 

Natta (M'Geary), '■ 


are quoted by Ling- Roth. In the Tasmanian Enghsh 
Dictionary it will be found that " gunta " does not mean 
earth in the sense of a mineral, but rather the ground 
on whic'h men are standing. the word " nata," or 
" natie " is given with the same meaning, and we may 
therefore omit both, not representing a mineral. From 
the above list it will be seen that the primary words are 


from which all the others are derived. They apparently 
mean ""surface soil " of any kind. The Aborigines did 
not know the meaning of the word " dirt ;" everything 
was " earth " to them, hence we find dirt and earth as 

If we examine the derived words we have a 

ranoga-na ^ , 

Pen(o)ga-na | ^aleetya 
Manna-na mallye. 

As the second word means white or whitish, these 
words mean a clay or earth of whitish colour, and a re- 
ference to the vocabulary shows that the word " rulle "' 
means " rough." 

Literally, Pengana rutta or Manna-na rulle means 
'' rough earth," and as dried clayey soil is pretty 
" rough," it may also stand for dry " mud." 

The words which stand for clay show at once that 
they mean a whitish substance, and in the word 
Pannoga-na we have no trouble in recognising the word 
Pen-ga-na. It is more than probable that Pappa-lye is 
the same word as Manna-na. 

We therefore come to the conclvision that the surface 
soil in general was called by the 

■Eastern Tribes — Pen-ga-na, 
Southern Tribes — Man-na -na. 

If dried and rough it became rutta or rulle, and a special 
kind of argillaceous soil or rock — a w'hite clay — was dis- 
tinguis'hed under the names 

Pan-(o)ga-na maleetye 
Man-na-na mallye. 


It is very probable that the heavy loamy soil result- 
ing from the weathering of volcanic rocks was the Ben- 
ga-na or Man-na-na, considering its wide distribution 
all over Tasmania. The whitish clay, the Pan-oga-na 
maleetye and the Man-na-na mallye most probably re- 
present the pipeclay so frequently found. It is there- 
fore unquestionable that these words refer solely to an 
argillaceous soil. 

4. CRYSTAL. — In Calder's Vocabulary two names- 
are given under the heading crystal, viz.,' 

Southern Tribes — Keeka. 
Northern Tribes — ^^Heka. 

There can be no doubt that both words are identical, 
but it is impossible to say what kind of crystal they refer 
to. The most probable theory is that they stand for 
quartz-crystal, though crystalhsed quartz is by no means 
of frequent occurrence in Tasmania. We must, there- 
fore, leave the meaning of the word an open question. 

5. FREESTONE. — This is the popular name given 
to that kind of rock which is geologically known as 
" sandstone." The sandstone of Tasmania is almost ex- 
clusively, if not all, of Permian age, and some of its 
varieties form an excellent building stone. In fact, be- 
fore 'the introduction of the kiln-burnt brick it was the 
only building stone used in Tasmania. The houses were 
ehher constructed of wood or the more substantial ones 
0I Freestone. This rock played therefore an important 
part in the life of the early settlers, and it is hardly to 
be wondered at that they enquired for its native name. 

MilHgan gives the following names :r^ 

Eastern Tribes — Boatta or potha malleetye. 

Southern Tribes — Potta mallya. 

North and West Tribes — ^Ponin-galee. ' 

We see at once that it is a compound word, and the 
word as used by the Eastern and Southern tribes leaves 
no doubt that the attribute means "' white " or " whitish." 
"White potta," the freestone was called by the Abo- 
rigines, and as far as colour goes this attribute is qnite 


I am afraid, however, that it will be impossible to 
arrive at the meaning- of potta, or po-ta. The suffix 
*' ta " is frequently found in other words, and probably 
the correct spelling of the freestone would be 

Po-ta-male and 

Thoug'h the suffix " nin " in the word used by the 
Northern and Western tribes differs from that used by 
the others, there can be no doubt that po-nin-galee is 
practically the same word as po-ta-malee. 

6. IRON ORE. — Iron ore is fairly common in Tas- 
mania. Large pieces of limonite occur at numerous 
places in the weathered diabas — for instance, on the 
Brighton Plains, near Shene. Layers of impure sandy 
ore are pretty common in certain permian sandstones — 
for instance, near Baskerville, on the Macquarie River ; 
and last, but not least, the fine haematite ore on the 
Penguin River, is well known. Iron ore was apparently 
greatly valued by the Aborigines as the substance which 
they turned into red ochre by roasting. 

Milligan gives the following words : — 

Eastern Tribes — Latta. 
Southern Tribes — Lattawinne. 

The suffix " winne " occurs in numerous words, and 
its meaning is not quite known yet. The real word for 
iron ore is undoubtedly 

in which we again find the same suffix " ta " as in the 
preceding po-ta. 

7. RIEID OCHRE. — As this substance has formed the 
subject of a special paper, it is sufficient to mention its 
name only. 

Milligan gives the following: — 
Eastern Tribes — Ballawinne. 
Southern Tribes — ^Balla-winne. 

We know that the suffix " winne " is unimportant, 
and that the proper name is therefore 



I only wish to draw once more the attention to the 
remarkable likeness of the Tasmanian word for blood,, 

and the word for red ochre. If we separate balawine 
in the following way — ba-law-ine — the similarity is so^ 
striking- that there is every probability that the Tas- 
manian name for red ochre means nothing- else but 
'' blood." La Billiardiere gives another name for ochre,, 
viz., ma-la-tie (i), which in the Tasmanian-English 
vocabulary is spelt 

and translated as " yellow ochre " according to Peron. 
Disregarding the suffix, we would have two kinds of. 
ochre, viz.. 

Red ba-la-(wine). 

Yellow ma-la-(ne). 

I may remark here that in the dialect of the Southern, 
tribes the name for canoe was 

Ma-la-na (mallanna). 

The similarity between this word and that for yellow 
ochre is very remarkable. It is difficult, if not impos- 
sible, to say whether there is not some mistake at the 
bottom of this. I cannot find any reference to the use 
of " yellow ochre " by the Aborigines, and this being so, 
it is hardly probable that they would have distinguished 
a substance which not only is of rare occurrence in Tas- 
mania, but was also of no use to them, under a special; 

8. HORNSTONE OR CHERT.— As this substance 
formed the subject of a special paper, in w'hich all the 
different rocks coming under this heading have been 
discussed, I need not go into further detail. The 
Aboriginal names were — 

Eastern Tribes — Trona, 
and a special kind of this trona, probably the dark blue 
or grey variety, was called 

Mora trona. 

(i) Considering the BVench pronunciation of the letter 
" u," the last syllable comes nearest to the English wee-e; nia- 
la-ue, might perhaps be transcribed as ma-la-vvi(n)e. 


The meaning of the word tro-na is not known, ex- 
cept that it represents a siHceous rock, which the 
modern scientist calls hornstone or chert, and that it 
■also included such substances as porcellanite, breccia, 
.and a number of quartz minerals such as chalcedony, 
wood opal, etc. 

9. PEBBLE (Rolled Quartz).— Under this heading 
Milligan gives two words, viz., 

Eastern Tribes — Kugha-weenya 
Southern Tribes — Tramutta. 

At the first glance we perceive that under this head- 
ing two most heterogeneous objects are included. The 
second word is no other than the general name for stone 
implement, viz., trowatta. No doubt a pebble of rolled 
■quartz can be, and may often have been, turned into a 
trawatta ; but there can be also not the slightest doubt 
that this name was not applied to designate the sub- 
stance. We can therefore disregard this word. 

The remaining kugha-weenya presents such a simi- 
larity with the word for " topaz " that it will be better 
to discuss it there. 

10. SALT. — It seems one of the most striking 
features of the Tasmanian vocabulary that there exists 
no special word for one of the most necessary sub- 
stances of human life, namely, salt. Human beings can- 
not exist without salt — a fact too well known to be 
further enlarged upon. How is it, then, that the Tas- 
manian Aborigines could do without it, though as a sub- 
stance it must have been well known to them. For in- 
stance, the salt pans near Mona Vale are after a dry 
season completely covered with a glittering white crust 
■of dry salt, and as this part was apparently one of their 
favourite camping grounds, they could not help noticing 
this when water became scarce. There is also no doubt 
that they noticed the salt on the rocks left by the 
evaporation of sea water. 

I think the explanation of this apparently lack of 
■desire for one of the most important substances is very 
simple. During winter time the food of the Aborigines 
■ consisted mostly of shell fish, which naturally contained 


sufficient salt to satisfy all cravings of the body for this 
substance (i). Thus, taking the salt required for the 
process of life alread}^ included in their daily food, there 
was no reason for them to specially collect it (2). 

Milligan mentions the following words for salt: — 

(a) Salt on the rocks by the sea side — 


(b) Ditto— 


(c) Water (salt) — 

Lia noattye. 

If we begin with the first word, 
we see that it is composed of the word for water lia or 
hena(o) and the suffix wittye. It is very probable that 
■" wittye " is the same as " winne ;" the word would 
therefore read 


and would perhaps mean a " a substance that comes 
from water," salt being the residue after the evaporation 
of sea water. I am not quite so certain about the 
second word, except that it also contains the lia(o) 
water, and therefore indicates that the word has some 
connection with water. 

The most interesting of all is, however, the third, the 
Avord for salt v\^ater — 

According to F. Mueller, the negative is expressed 
in the Tasmanian language by the word " noia ;" if 
affixed to a word it would convey just the opposite 
meaning. Now, we find that water pure and simple is 
Lia-winne or liena, the last word apparently being 
contracted from 


(i) I have not tested them, but I am told that limpets 
(Patella), and even mutton fish (Halioties), are so salty that 
if eaten they will, even if well cooked, produce an intense feel- 
ing of thirst. 

(2) The question may well be asked. How did the archaeo- 
lithic man of Europe obtain the necessary salt? Is it possible 
that he, like the Tasmanians, frequented the sea shores.'' 


The attribute " eleebana " apparently expresses a 
particular emphasis of the g-ood qualities of something. 
Lia was water; lia-eleebana particularly good water. 
Now, I do not think that the sense of taste of the 
Aborigines was so hig"lily cultivated as to distinguish 
different qualities of water. Good water was any water 
that was fiit for drinking, though, in the opinion of 
modern man, this same water may be disgustingly dirty. 
Lia-noia or lia-noattye was bad water — that is to say, 
unfit for drinking- purposes, however clear such water 
may have been. Now we can fully understand the origin 
of the third word, which stands for '* salt water." Arriv- 
ing at a waterhole or passing a creek a European would 
probably ask his native guide. Is this fresh water? The 
Aborigine would reply, Lia-noattye, meaning thereby, 
" This is water not fit for drinking." The European 
would promptly taste it, and, finding its taste saline, 
would jump at the conclusion that lia-noia or noattye 
means salt water, while it really had no association with 
fhe word " salt " at all. 

II. — SAND. — Sand forms one of the most con- 
spicuous features of the Tasmanian landscape, particu- 
larly along the sea shore. Sandy soil was the favourite 
camping ground of the Aborigines, but only two words 
are contained in the vocabularies to denote sand, and 
even one of these seems doubtful. 

Milligan gives the following words : — 

Eastern Tribes— Mungara mena. 
Southern Tribes — 'Nguna. 

The second word is unquestionabh' incomplete, as 
the main part, the root, is evidently missing. It is, how- 
ever, the first one which is the most curious. The word 
" mena " is apparently a sufftx, and the main part is the 
word " mungara." This is exactly the same word that 
has puzzled me when discussing the native words for 
stone implements (i). Milligan states that the Southern 
tribes used the word mungara to denote " a flint." If 
that be so, it is hardly probable that the Eastern tribes 
used exactlv the same word to denote " sand." One of 

(r) The Aboriginal Designations for Stone Implements, 
Pap. and Proceed. Roy. Soc. Tas., 1908. 


the two must be wrong, and there is a great proba- 
bihty that the translation " a flint " is wrong. The second 
word, 'nguna, which could also be written 'ngana or 
'ngara seems to indicate that the word for sand in the 
dialect of the Southern tribes must be similar to that of 
the Eastern tribes. It is therefore very probable that 

Mun-ga-ra or 


is the Tasmanian word for sand. 

Considering that the largest and favourite camps are 
always situated on nice warm sandy soil, it might be ex- 
pected that the word for " camping ground " might give 
a clue. 

Milligan gives the following words for encamp- 
ment : — 

Eastern Tribes — Lena wughta rotaleebana. 
Southern Tribes — Line rotali. 

We know that the word eleebana in particular ro(o)t- 
eleebana an emphasis of the good qualities, is frequently 
used, and it is therefore certain that the words 

Lena wughta 

really express the word for camp, and rotali or rotalee- 
bana simply mean that Lena wughta or line are exceed- 
ingly good. 

Ling Roth literally translates 

Lena wughta rotaleebana 
hut earth long, 

meaning thereby that on such places more permanent 
structures were erected. (It has been shown on pp. 107- 
III tliat the natives constructed two sorts of huts or 
break-winds — those which on the rambhngs of small 
parties were to last for a night only, and those more 
permanent ones to last for a season; hence the last- 
named — viz., the above word — explains itself. Aborig.,. 
p. 189.) 

It would be out of place to go here into the discus- 
sion of the correctness of this statement, but it is certain 
that " rotaleebana " was never applied in a chronological 


sense to denote the length of a period. Wherever found, 
it emphasises the good quahties, but not bad ones. 

Admitting that the word " wughta " stands for 
" earth," that is to say in the meaning of ground or soil, 
we come to a quite different translation if we assume 
that " lena " means " water." The literal translation is, 
therefore, according to my opinion, 

lena wughta rotaleebana 
water soil very good. 

Now, what is the meaning of this ? To' anybody who 
has actually seen the camping grounds there cannot be 
the slightest doubt as to its interpretation. A warm 
sandy soil was a most essential feature for a camping 
ground, and to make it perfect it was necessary that it 
should be close to fresh water (liena or lin'-eleebana). 
Soil and water being satisfactory, such a locality was 
chosen as a camping ground, and it is only too natural 
that the primitive mind of the Aborigines should choose 
those two qualities which were most essential to them to 
.express the name of the locality. Water and soil being 
good, it must be a satisfactory place to dwell on, argued 
the primitive mind, hence its designation for encamp- 
ment grounds. This is certainly a more probable trans- 
lation than '' the huts of earth constructed for long 

Unfortunately, however, this interpretation of the 
word for camping ground does not contain any indica- 
tion of the word for " sand." If the soil, the ground, 
the " wughta," was good, this presumed that it was of 
an arenaceous nature, but this does not throw any light 
on the meaning of the words mun-ga-ra and mun-ga-na. 
These words may stand for sand along the shore, but 
their literal meaning is at present unknown. , 

12. TOPAZ. — Under the above headings Milligan 
gives the following words : — 

Eastern Tribes — ^Tendeagh. 
Southern Tribes — Mugramallee. 

It will at once be seen that two completely different 
substances are enumerated under the same English 


The first word means " red," while in the second we 
£nd the word for " white " (mallee). The first was there- 
fore a " red " and the second a " white " mineral. Now, 
w'hatever colours occur in topaz, red topazes are of such 
rare occurrence, and to my knowledge only found in 
Brazil, that it is hardly probable that this variety was 
distinguished by the Aborigines of Tasmania under a 
special name. 

I think it more probable that one of those interested 
in the collection of native words showed a cornelian to 
an Aborigine, and the latter simply replied " tendeagh," 
meaning thereby " red." As it is pretty certain that 
mineralogical knowledge was not the strongest point of 
;.the early settlers, the cornelian stone was mistaken for 
a topaz. 

Topazes occur in Tasmania, as it is well known ; and 
it is probable that the second word, indicating a " white " 
stone, really refers to topaz. On the other hand, we 
had under the heading pebble (rolled quartz) the words 
kug'ha weenya. There seems to be a certain similarity 
between the words " mugra " and '* kugha," but I am 
unable to say whether this view is correct or not. The 
scarcity of topaz pebbles in Tasmania, except Flinders 
Island, suggests the idea that " mugra " rather means 
•quartz, perhaps chalcedony, or even wood opal (i) than 

However that may be, it is certain that under the 
heading topaz two widely different minerals were in- 
■cluded. The first is a red one, most probably cornelian ; 
the second a white one, most probably quartz or chalce- 
dony, but most unlikely topaz. 

— In a paper previously read before this Society (2), I 
expressed the opinion that the words 


(i) Occurring in fine white opaque pieces near Mount 

(2) The Aboriginal Designations for Stone Implements, 
Pap. and Proceed. Roy. Soc. Tas., 1908. 


represented certain Tasmanian rocks, most probably 
diabas and granite. I am now in the position to con- 
firm this opinion — in fact, it is now possible to make 
out the meaning of the first and last word, and as the 
remaining two are in all probability identical with the 
first, the problem has been satisfactorily solved. 


is unquestionably a composite word, and at least two 
words are known to me in which the word " parenna."' 
forms the attribute. These are 


The first of these two words is composed of matta=. 
ball=testicles and 

the second of 

Commena=^chin, and 
Purrenah spear. 

We have, therefore, 

Matta — perenna 
Ball — spear=:pennis 
Cemmena — perenna 

The last composition is rather illustrative ; the- 
bristles growing on the chin look like tiny spears. Now,, 
if we analyse the word 


we have 

Lenn — loinT=stone, 

therefore the literal translation is 

Stone — spear, 

or, as we would say, spear stone. Now, can we identif}- 
any of the rocks with this " spear stone " ? The answer 
is, Yes, and the identification is as easy as it is plain. It 
is the basalt that is meant by the word spear stone. The 
fine cokuims of basalt — for instance at Cape Raoul — 
make it perfectly intelligible why the Aborigines should 
call this rock spear stone. There is hardly anything 


more suggestive of a bundle of spears than these regular 
thin columns of rock placed side by side. 

The lenn-parenna is the basalt, there cannot be the 
slightest doubt, but I think it also includes the diabas. 
Though not quite as regularly, diabas also breaks in 
columnar pieces ; for instance the organ pipes (i) on 
Mount Wellington, and it is therefore more than prob- 
able that this rock was also called " spear stone." In 
fact, it is very probable that the pieces of columnar 
diabas found on the camping grounds, and used as 
choppers, were designated lenn-parenna in distinction 
of the real tronatta. 

The last word, noan-yale, unquestionably means 
"white stone." I have above pointed out that yale= 
gale=male means white, and as noan=loan=loin= 
stone, the whole word must mean a " white stone." 
Now, this is a word used by the Western and North- 
western tribes, and the question arises which kind of 
rock could they have designated as " w'hite stone " ? 
There can be not the slightest doubt that this rock is 
represented by the archaean schists. Archaean schists 
of a white colour form the most conspicuous rock in 
Western and North-Western Tasmania, and there is, 
therefore, every probability that the " noan-yale " is re- 
presented by this rock. 

In this paper the names of about i6 substances be- 
longing to the mineral kingdom have been examined, 
and we see that we can classify them under three head- 
ings, viz. — 

(a) Minerals proper, including substances derived 

from the roasting of a mineral and the burn- 
ing of wood ; 

(b) Rocks ; 

(c) Substances resulting from the disintegration 

or weathering of rocks. 

(i) The designation " organ pipes " for this occurrence of 
columnar diabas is a curious modern parallel to the " spear 
stone " of the Aborigines. The Tasmanian compared the rock 
with a bundle of spears, the modern mind with a row of pipes 
as usually exhibited in an organ. Supposing a' superior being 
suddenly arrived at Hobart, and, pointing to Mount Wellington 
in order to obtain the name of the rock forming the precipice, 
received the rather startling answer — organ pipes. I leave it to 
tbs reader to work out the logical conclusion for himself. 


A. The minerals are 

1. Coal. 

(a) Coal, s.s. 

Co(n)a-ra, lit. probably black. 

• (b) Charcoal (artificial produce). 

Loa-ra, lit. probably black. 
Maw-ba-na, lit. black. 

2. Iron ore, either limonite or haematite. 

La-ta, meaning unknown. 

3. Ochre. 

(a) Red ochre (artificial produce). 
Ba-la-wini, lit. blood. 
:^i^ (b) Yellow ochre (natural?) 
Ma-la-ne, meaning- unknown. 

4. Quartz (?) ■ 

Kugha-wiuA^a, meaning unknown. 
Kughra-mali, " white "' kughra. 

5. Cornelian (?). 

Tendeagh, lit. red. 

6. Crystal of unknown kind (quartz?). 

Heka > . , 

-p, j meaning unknown. 

.. 7. Salt. 

Lieno-wittye, lit. from the water. 

8. Topaz (?). 

(See quartz and cornelian). 

I. Basalt, Diabas....;4-)o-t }c< o n r.(.sr! i ksv/ t 

Lenn-parenna, lit. spear stuircr : : ~::~'Z ™" 

:.-■> '^Kiyx-^-i J-.0 ^cT- -lO* ^:.({'<[\v;,n^' nc>t;t>;";.M- -r '/ '. '• 
ssci'T ^■. Noan-y^le, ;l|t<,(Wfii'^e,;S>tQ;ie. -.^.^ 

.or'iqi .'>-^ Pot-ta^inali; lit', the* *^' -v^hiteS' '' 'pota -'■ ■ '■ | ' r^ieaiiiiig^-^ : 
o) ji ^•.'PoLnih-gfalf; lit:'tlife;''' Whp:"';p6nin' / unk'ribwiii: 


4. Pipeclay. 

Pen-ga-na mali, lit. the " white " \ 

pengana I meaning 

Man-na-na mali, lit. the "white" [unknown, 
manana I 

5. Hornstone, Porcellanite. 

Tro-na, meaning unknown. 

Mora-trona, perhaps " black " or " heavy " 

C. Substances resulting from the weathering of 

1. Sand. 

Munga-ra (mena), meaning unknown. 

2. Argillaceous soil, Clay. 

Pen-ga-na \ meaning unknown. 
Man-na-na j 

We see it is a meagre list on the whole, yet, con- 
sidering the low state of civilisation, it is astonishing 
that the Aborigines distinguished even this number. 

We know that at least one kind of rock, the " horn- 
stone," in its numerous varieties, was of utmost import- 
ance to the Aborigines, and next to it, for ornamental 
purposes, came the " red ochre," which was closely fol- 
lowed by " coal," that is to say, "' charcoal." It is, there- 
fore, not astonishing that these three substances were 
distinguished by special names ; neither is it surprising 
that the original mineral from which the red ochre was 
obtained was given a special name. 

It is also hardly astonishing that certain rocks, like 
diabas, basalt, freestone, and schist, which form such 
conspicuous features in the Tasmanian landscape, were 
distinguished under 'different names. All these sub- 
stances, which either played an important role in fhe 
daily life, or were closely associated with the features 
of the countryv %ere i distinguis'hed by special names. 
Yet there are a few more substances of which the Tas- 
manian words have been preserved for w'hichno such 
importance can be_ claimed. These are yellow ochre, 


quartz (crystal), cornelian and pipeclay, and salt. In 
several instances, viz., salt, pipeclay, an'd cornelian, it 
could be proved that the words used had no special 
meaning appertaining to these substances, but that it 
was really the transcription of other words, and the same 
probably applies to the remaining words. 

On the whole, the list contains the names of i6 sub- 
stances, only 7, or perhaps 9, of which can be considered 
to have played an important role in the life of the 
Aborigines. These are arranged according to im- 
portance : — 

1. Hornstone (inch porcellanite, breccia, and other 

siliceous minerals). 

Tro-na (mora tro-na), meaning unknown. 

2. Red ochre. 

Ba-la-wine, lit. blood. 

3. Charcoal (powdered). 

Loa-ra, lit. black. 

4. Iron ore (limonite or haematite). 

La-ta, meaning unknown. 

5. Basalt, incl. Diabas. 

Lenn-parenna, lit. spear stone. 

6. Freestone, i.e. sandstone. 

Po-ta-mali, lit. white po-ta, meaning unknown. 

7. Archaean schist. 

Noan-yale, lit. white stone. 

To these we may add 

8. Clay, incl. pipeclay and any kind of argillaceous 


Man-na-na ~) . , 

-o / TN cleaning unknown 

Jr'en-ga-na-(mali) J ° 

9. Sand. 

Mun-ga-ra-(mena), meaning unknown. 


The remaining substances, viz., 
Coal (mineral coal) 
Yellow ochre 
Quartz (?) 
Cornelian (?) 

Crystal of unknown kind (quartz) 

were not of the slightest use to the Aborigines, except 
that cornelian, quartz, and the crystal of unknown kind, 
if found in large pieces, could be used for the manufac- 
ture of a tronatta. In fact, we find the quartz pebble 
distinctly called trautta. The mineral coal was probably 
designated by the same name as charcoal, the words for 
jellow ochre and topaz are apocryphic, and there was no 
proper word for salt at all. 

I may add that only the three of these substances, or 
if we consider the " red ochre " as an altered iron ore, 
only two, were of any importance in the economic life 
•of the Tasmanians. The hornstone for their stone im- 
plements, the red ochre (altered iron ore) for ornamental 
purposes ; for the latter charcoal was also sometimes 

The remaining five substances were noticed and dis- 
tinguished, but they did not enter into the routine of 
daily life, except perhaps when it was necessary to de- 
scribe a certain tract of country. 

Now, if it is advisable to transfer the results of this 
paper on the language of the archaeolithic man in 
Europe, we may conclude that he had a different word 

Flint (meaning the substance from which the im- 
plements were made) 

Red ochre 

and that in all probability he distinguished the most 
■conspicuous rocks of the European landscape — sand- 
stone, limestone, and shale — by different names. As 
■columnar basalt is very common in those localities fre- 
■quented by archaeolithic man, it is probable that he also 


distinguished it under a special name, Sand and clay 
were probably also distinguished, but this may have 
limited the vocabulary of archaeolithic man in Europe 
as far as minerals or rocks are concerned. 

If we consider that the primitive language of the 
Tasmanians knew only three words for mineral sub- 
stances, two of which, charcoal and red ochre, cannot 
strictly be considered as such, because they were arti- 
ficially produced by means of fire ; and as it appears very 
probable that the archaoelithic man of Europe knew of 
no more, we must wonder when the invention of those 
words took place which were used to designate the dif- 
ferent substances that were already in use during the 
neolithic stage. If we further consider that in the Tas- 
manian language the word for " red ochre " means 
literally " blood," and that for charcoal " black." the first 
word the human language ever used to designate a 
mineral was the word for " flint," whatever that may 
have been, in Europe. Can anything better illustrate 
the enormous progress of the human race since a'rchaeo- 
lithic times than a comparison of the single word for 
flint with thousands of names by which modern science 
distinguishes the minerals and rocks found on our 

rrdii ■j^ii '^jri; ;^!dudvi'- ni yuljilo-^adoxii 'aI D'/ir;: 


By L. Rodway. • 
(R"ead 13th September, 1909.) 

I take this opportunity of placing on record the oc- 
currence of Brachycome melanocarpa. Sender et F. von 
Mueller as a native of Tasmania. It has as yet only 
been gathered on the eastern slope of Mount Welling- 
ton, in a damp locality at about 3,000 feet altitude, but 
probably occurs elsewhere, only its general resemblance 
to B. scapiformis, D.C., has caused it to be overlooked. 
It has hitherto been recorded from South Australia, 
Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. 

A tufted perennial, sending up annual flowering 
scapes of usually four to ten inches in height, as in B. 
scapiformis, it differs in being more extensively hirsute ; 
the leaf has a long attenuated base or petiole, an ob- 
cuneate apex with usually seven bold dentures;' the 
scape is coarser, with more leafy bracts, or commonly 
bears a gradually reduced series of foliage leaves, but 
these characters are ' not quite constant for either 
species. The involucral bracts are shorter, blunter, and 
rather more scarious, and the ray florets are shorter. 
But the typical character is found in the achene. In B. 
scapif6rmis this 'orgah is flat, smooth, with acute or 
winged edges; while in/;B,;:melanorC;arpa (it lisinarrowli?' 
obovate, slightly compressed with very obtuse edges, 
usually tubercu'late, viscid, and' black. The pappus is 
.formed of many sm^||jftdi^^tin^,-^fii,t;][3i'il^ti^ .; ,• . 

' '"¥liis 'plaint is an intei-estingaMition to our flora. 





By L. Keith Ward, B.A., B.E. 
(Assistant Government Geologist.) 

(Read 13th September, 1909.) 


1. Introduction. 
II. Previous literature. 

III. The stratigraphical succession in Tasmania. 

IV. The lithological characters of the Pre-Cambrian rocks. 

(a) Schists of aqueous origin. 

(b) Schists of igneous origin. 

V. The structural features of the Pre-Cambrian. 

Vl. The genesis, history, and present physiographical features 
of the Pre-Cambrian in Tasmania. 

VII. The distribution of the Pre-Cambrian in Tasmania. 

VIII. Nomenclature and correlation. 


Notes in explanation of the plates. 

Table of the Pre-Cambrian succession in North America. 


I. Map of Tasmania, showing the distribution of the Pre- 

II. Generalised sections. 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.E. 125 


It may not be altogether inappropriate, in con- 
tributing a paper on the systematic Geology of Tas- 
mania, to commence at the bottom of the geological 

In the following pages the writer has the honour to 
present some portion of the information now available 
concerning that great series of rocks which constitutes 
the base of the geological record in Tasmania. 

There are several questions connected with these 
rocks and their relations to the succeeding sediments 
which cannot but be, in the present state of our know- 
ledge, debatable. Yet it may now be confidently asserted 
that these rocks are truly Pre-Cambrian in age ; and 
this paper is largely concerned with the nature of the 
evidence upon which this assertion is made. Hitherto 
there has been a certain lack of definite information 
available, and the accurate classification of the series 
has been, in consequence, impossible of achievement. 

However, within the last year the work of the 
Geological Survey stafif has taken Mr. W; H. Twelve- 
trees and the writer into areas in which these funda- 
mental rocks- are well developed, and in which some de- 
tails of their relationships to other members of the 
geological record are displayed. The geological ex- 
ploration of the Great Western Railway route has pro- 
vided material for an almost continuous section across 
Tasmania from Gormanston to Tyenna ; and during 
the progress of this work a fund of matter has accumu- 
lated which is of inestimable value in the correlation of 
the strata encountered. This information is here pre- 
sented in so far as it concerns the Pre-Cambrian rocks ; 
and in the light of these recent discoveries some account 
is given of the deductions which may be drawn with 
regard to the origin, growth, and decay of the Pre- 
Cambrian rocks of Tasmania. 



The rocks which are here treated of have been re- 
ferred to in tlie earher Hterature which deals Avith the 
Geology of Tasmania as " Pre-Cambrian " or " Ar- 
chaean " ; but the reasons for which this provisional 
classification has been adopted have been admitted to 
be insufificient. 

A^r. R. M. Johnston has clearly stated (i) the lack 
of the neoessar}^ evidence required before the " quartz- 
ites and metamorphic rocks " of his Geological Table 
(2) could be definitely referred to this position in the 

More recently, in a paper read before the Austra- 
lasian Association for the Advancement of Science (3), 
Mr. W. H. Twelvetrees gave a brief account of " Prob- 
able Pre-Cambrian Strata in Tasmania." In this paper 
Mr. Twelvetrees has stated that the several occurrences 
of c[uartzites, mica schists, and hornblendic schists are 
to 'be referred to the Pre-Cambrian mainly on the 
grounds that they are lithologically dissimilar from any 
members of the Cambrian, Ordovician, or Silurian sys- 
tems which are capable of more rigid classification. 

Since this paper was written the country between 
Tyenna and Gormanston has been geologically ex- 
plored, and the uncertainties and doubts have given 
place to confident assertions based upon the newly- 
acquired information. The increase of knowledge, also, 
with regard to the stratigraphical position Of the early 
Palaeozoic sediments of Tasmania, and the recent cor- 
relation of these strata in different parts of the island 
have assisted to no small degree in placing the classifi- 
cation of the Pre-Cambrian on a firm basis. 

The departmental literature which deals with the 
several districts in which these rocks are developed is 
mentioned below, when reference is made to these 

(i) R. M. Johnston. Geology of Tasmania. 1888, p. 17. 

(2) Ibidem, p. 15. 

(3) Proceedings A.A.A.S.. Adelaide, 1907, p. 466. 




It is necessary to consider briefly the succession of 
the lower Palaeozoic strata and the relations of these to 
the rocks here described, so that the grounds for the 
classification of the latter as Pre-Cambrian may be pro- 
perly appreciated. 

The recognised base of "the Ordovician system is the 
" Gordon River Limestone." With this limestone are 
associated sandstones and slates (i) which may belong 
to the same system. 

This fossiliferous limestone at Railton and at the 
Humboldt Divide lies directly upon the fossiliferous 
Upper Cambrian beds. It is a persistent geological 
horizon, and therefore of great stratigraphical im- 

The strata, to which an age greater than that of the 
Gordon River limestone may be ascribed, whether on 
palaeontological or on stratigraphical gro.unds, are 
these : — 

1. The Dundas slate series — with the associated in- 
trusive and effusive porphyritic igneous rocks. 
These rocks may be equivalent with slates and 
sandstones at the Needles, and near Mounts 
Mueller and Wedge. 

2. The Caioline Creek beds, and their fossiliferous 
equivalents discovered by Mr. T. Stephens on 
the Humboldt Divide in the Florentine Valley. 

3. The " tubicolar " sandstone (commonly known 
as the " pipestem " sandstone) ; and the " dis- 
coidal " sandstone overlying it. 

4. The Denison Range conglomerates and quartz- 
ites, tog-ether with the similar rocks constituting 
the West Coast Range conglomerate series. The 
pebbly sandstone and conglomerate of Railton 
also probably belong to the same horizon. 

5. The sandstones, quartzites, slates, grits, and 
conglomerates of Cabbage Tree Hill, Beacons- 

(i) See Section III. 


A short explanation appears necessary in order that 
the character of the evidence, upon which the age of 
these five groups has been stated to be, in all proba- 
bility, Cambrian, may be clearly stated. 

I. The Dundas slate series consists of clay slates, 
sandstones, conglomerates, and breccias, with which are 
associated a characteristic series of massive and schis- 
tose igneous rocks. They extend from the North Coast 
between Penguin and TJlverstone to Birch's Inlet on 
Macquarie Harbour, and probably still further to the 

The rocks of this series are judged to be of greater 
antiquity than the 'Gordon River limestone on strati- 
graphical evidence (i). 

2. The Caroline Creek beds consist of yellow sand- 
stones, which are fossiliferous in both localities where 
they outcrop, and have been definitely referred to the 
Upper Cambrian upon the evidence of the organic re- 
mains preserved in them. 

3. The " tubicolar " sandstone forms a well-marked 
horizon, which has been recognised at Mount Zeehan, 
Middlesex, Mount Claude, the Five-mile Rise near 
Lorinna, and on the Loddon Plains to the eastward of 
the Frenchman's Cap. 

To this horizon has hitherto been assigned a much 
higher position in the geological column by other 
authors. The writer considers that it is of Cambrian, 
age for the reasons here briefly stated : — 

The peculiar tubular impressions have been recog- 
nised in the West Coast Range conglomerate on the 
Mount Lyell peaks. 

The tubicolar sandstone proper overlies the West 
Coast Range conglomerate conformably at Mount 
Zeehan, and the relationship of the two formations is 
shown in Mr. Waller's section across Mount Zeehan (2). 

Hence, whatever may be the nature of these proble- 
matical fossil casts, they are persistent through at least 

(i) Geological Survey of Tasmania, Bullelin No. 5, pp. 

(2) G. A. Waller, " Report on the Zeehan Silver-Lead 
Mining Field," 1904. 



a portion of the West Coast Range conglomerate series 
and the overlying sandstone. They have not been ob- 
served in any other sandstones, and never in actual 
association with any other fossils. So we may apparently 
conclude with safety that the tubicolar sandstone is the 
next succeeding formation to the West Coast Range 
cong'lomerate (where the full sequence is represented) 
and of slightly less antiquity. 

Moreover, during the recent exploration of the 
country in the vicinity of the Frenchman's Cap, the 
writer found an extensive development of the tubicolar 
sandstone in the Loddon River Valley. Here it is con- 
formably overlain by another white sandstone of similar 
grain ; and in this latter sandstone are certain peculiar 
discoidal impressions. The exact nature of these mark- 
ings is unknown, and Mr. Etheridge, of the Australian 
Museum, to whom specimens have been referred, has 
declined to express an opinion concerning them, since 
no traces of the organic structure remain. 

Mr. W. H. Twelvetrees has pointed out that entirely 
similar, but smaller, discoidal moulds exist in the fossil- 
iferous Upper Cambrian beds of Caroline Creek. In 
the event that the discoidal markings should prove to 
possess stratigraphical value, the discoidal sandstone 
must belong to the Cambrian system. 

It should perhaps be here stated that the tubicolar 
sandstone has formerly been looked upon as of Silurian 
age, the reason 'being- that at Zeehan and the Five-mile 
Rise strata bearing Silurian fossils have been found 
above this sandstone. 

A re-examination of the occurrences of the tubicolar 
sandstone is therefore required, v/ith a view to the dis- 
covery of a possible break in the succession. Should 
such a break be found between the pipestem rock and 
the superincumbent Silurian, the explanation of the 
previous classification of the strata will be provided. 

4. The Denison Range is built up of a great series 
of siliceous sediments — crystalline pebbly sandstones, 
quartzites, and conglomerates. These rocks have been 
traced without interruption for many miles from the 
Thumbs across the gorge of the Gordon River, and 
northwards along the Denison Range. 


The writer has observed a small isolated hill of red- 
dish quartzite entirely similar to that of the Denison 
Range on the western border of the central plateau, at 
a spot just to the north of the Linda Track, and a miile 
to the eastward of Mount Arrowsmith. 

Moreover, this sedimentary series, which consists of 
conglomerate, pebbly sandstone, crystalline sandstone, 
and quartzite, is, apparently, precisely that which is re- 
ferred to as the West Coast Range conglomerate series. 
That is to sa}^ the Denison Range is composed of rocks 
which appear to be identical in all respects with those 
which contribute so largely to the bulk of Mounts 
Jukes, Huxley, Owen, Lyell, Sedgwick, Murchison, 
Farrell, and Zeehan. The lithological resemblance be- 
tween the rocks from all these places is striking; and 
the differences between the rocks of this character and 
all other known sediments in Tasmania are equally well 

These rocks have hitherto been considered to be 
much younger, but there has been no satisfactory proof 
of age. The West Coast Range conglomerate has been 
placed at the base of the Silurian system for the reason 
that it is clearly older than the tubicolar sandstone. 
The probable Cambrian age of the latter formation has 
already been indicated here, and if this be admitted a 
still greater antiquity must be assigned to the West 
Coast Range conglomerate series. 

By far the most important information bearing on 
this matter which has yet been gathered is that which 
was obtained early in 1908 by Mr. W. H. Twelvetrees, 
in his westward traverse of the country between the 
Valley of Rasselas and the Prince of Wales Range. 

The bedrock of the Valley of Rasselas is the Ordo- 
vician limestone, with a strike of N. 25deg. W. and a 
north-easterly dip at an angle of 7odeg. This limestone 
rests unconformably upon the siliceous sediments of 
the Denison Range (i), which strike N. 3odeg. W. and 
dip (at the Thumbs and Mount Wright) towards the 
north-east at 5odeg. 

Since the Gordon River limestone horizon is re- 
garded as the base of the Ordovician in Tasmania, it 

(i) See Section I. 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.E. j^j 

necessarily follows that the great series of qtiartzites 
and conglomerates must be of Cambrian (or even pos- 
sibly of Pre-Cambrian) age. 

Confirmatory evidence again is afforded by the ap- 
parent relationship of the West Coast Range conglome- 
rate to the Dundas slate series (2). 

Moreover, the porphyritic igneous rocks, which are 
partly contemporaneous with these Dundas slates, have 
never been seen in the form of pebbles in the West 
Coast Range conglomerate. Diligent search has been 
made by the writer in localities where the two rocks 
are in the closest proximity, and always without finding 
any rounded pebbles of the porphyries, or the schists 
derived from them, in the conglomerate. This seems 
to him to be highly significant, although negative 

Again, certain structural phenomena are more 
readily explicable by the view that the porphyries have 
intruded into the conglomerate beds, rather than that 
subsecjuent complex faulting has produced the isolation 
of blocks of the sediment within the igneous boundaries. 

At Railton, the pebbly sandstone and conglomerate 
appears, from its position, to underlie the Caroline 
Creek fossiliferous sandstone. 

The relation of the Caroline Creek beds to the 
Dundas slates has not yet been determined, so that a 
complete chain of evidence regarding the exact age of 
the conglomerates and the slates has not yet been ob- 

No fossiliferous zone which may serve as a line of 
demarcation for the base of the Cambrian system has 
yet been detected. 

Our knowledge at the present time is such that it 
seems advisable to include the Denison Range and West 
Coast Range conglomerates within the Cambrian sys- 
tem, of which they would therefore seem to form the 

5. In the vicinity of Beaconsfield a series of sand- 
stones, quartzites, slates, grits, and conglomerates are 
found to dip under the Ordovician limestone, which lies 

(2) See Section JV. 



to the eastward. But the junction of the two systems 
is rendered complex by faulting (i). 

These infra-Ordovician sediments cannot 3^et be 
satisfactorily correlated with any of the other develop- 
ments of Cambrian rocks in Tasmania. 

The character and succession of these beds, albeit 
questions of great interest, cannot here be more fully 
discussed. We are concerned rather with the relation- 
ship of these Cambrian rock groups to the foundations 
upon which they rest. 

In this matter also the most satisfactory evidence 
has been gathered by Mr. W. H. Twelvetrees near the 
northern extremity of the Denison Range. 

Passing westwards, Mr. Twelvetrees has observea 
that the siliceous sediments, upon which the Ordovician 
limestone rests unconformably, themselves rest uncon- 
formably upon the foliated rocks which are here re- 
ferred to the Pre-Cambrian. The actual junction has 
been observed on the western side of the Denison 
Range, in the neighbourhood of the North Star (2). 

The writer has observed the similar reddish quartzite 
on the edge of the central plateau near Mount Arrow- 
smith, resting unconformably on the quartz-mica 
schists which are described below. 

In the valley of the South Loddon River the tubi- 
colar and discoidal sandstone have been observed rest- 
ing unconformably upon micaceous schists (3). 

At Mount Farrell, the eastern wall of the valley of 
the Sophia River is constituted of the quartz-mica 
schists mentioned below. These give place, on the 
western wall of the valley, to the West Coast Range 
conglomerate and quartzite which form the ridge of 
Mount Farrell ; and these in turn are followed bv the 

(i) See Section III. 

(2) See Section I. 

(3) See Section II. 

BY L. KEITH WARiD, B.A., B.E. x^3 

Dundas slates on the western slopes of the mount (i). 
TJnfortunateh^ the junction of the siliceous sediments 
which form the backbone of Mount Farrell with the 
quartzite schists on the other side of the valley of the 
Sophia River, is hidden by the later sediments. But 
the sequence displayed by this section is significant. 

The relationship between the Cambrian sediments 
of the Beaconsfield district and the schists of the Asbes- 
tos Range is shown diagrammatically in a section (2). 
The relationship is, in part at least, masked by an in- 
trusion of serpentine and aplite between the rocks of 
the two systems. 

The porphyritic igneous rocks, which have now been 
observed at Mount Farrell (3), Gunn's Plains (4), and 
North Dundas (5), to be contemporaneous with certain 
members of the Dundas slate series are only known as 
intrusives in the quartz-mica schists. 

The rounded pebbles of the West Coast Range con- 
g"lomerate are composed of fragments of the quartzites 
and quartz-mica schists described below. All of the 
more durable varieties of these latter rocks are repre- 
•sented in the conglomerate. 

We may, therefore, in summing up the evidence 
collected, state the following facts : — 

(a) Whatever may be the inter-relationship of the 

several groups here referred to the Cambrian 
system, there is one feature which they pos- 
sess in common — viz., where an actual contact 
has been observed, they are found to occupy a 
higher stratigraphical position than the schists, 
now for the first time strictly termed .Pre- 

(b) The Cambrian formations are separated from 

the subjacent schists by a strong unconformity 
wherever contacts have been observed. 

(i) See Section IV. Also Geological Survey of Tasmania, 
Bulletin No. 3. 

(2) See Section III. 

(3) Geological Survey of Tasmania, Bulletin No. 3, pp. 17 
■and 34. 

(4) Geological Survey of Tasmania, Bulletin No. 5, p. 9. 

(5) Geological Survey of Tasmania, Bulletin No. 6, pp. 17 
•and 38. 


(c) The Cambrian sediments are in common much 

more free from foliation than normal members 
of the Pre-Cambrian series. 

(d) Igneous rocks which were formed contem- 
poraneously with certain of the Pre-Ordovician 
rocks appear only as intrusive rocks intersect- 
ing the Pre-Cambrian schists. 

(e) The Pre-Cambrian rocks have been the source 

whence the material of certain of the Cambrian 
formations (lying stratigraphically at the base 
of this system) has been derived. 

The writer would therefore submit that the Pre- 
Cambrian age of certain rocks, described below, has 
now been satisfactorilv established. 


The bulk of these fundamental schists is, beyond 
doubt, constituted of metamorphosed sediments of 
aqueous origin ; but there are present also certain com- 
ponent parts of the series to which an igneous origin 
would be ascribed by the writer. It is proposed to give 
a brief description of these separately. 

(a) Schists of Aqueous Origin. 

The evidence upon which the origin of these rocks 
is affirmed is not equally conclusive in every case. But 
when any large area, in which these rocks are developed, 
is examined, the observer cannot but be convinced of 
the unity of origin of the several varieties which are to 
be found inextricably interlaminated. 

The greatest weight, in determining the origin of the 
series, must necessarily be placed upon those varieties 
which afiford the least questionable evidence. And the 
varieties which, more than others, possess this quality 
are those in which original characteristics of composi- 
tion and texture have been least masked by molecular 
readjustment and mechanical deformation. These are 
the schistose consrlomerate'= 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.E. joc 

Many slightly different varieties of these exist, and 
although the origin of most is readily recognisable at 
once, that of others becomes apparent only after the 
progress of weathering. 

The usual variety of schistose conglomerate is per- 
haps best seen in the beach exposures between Ulver- 
stone and Penguin — notably at Goat Island. The 
pebbles are quartzose, and are often greatl}^ elongated. 
The finer-grained portion of the rock is precisely similar 
to many of the micaceous schists which do not contain 

A more altered, but still more easily recognisable' 
conglomerate occurs at the eastern end of Calder's Pass 
and on the lov\f country between that pass and the Jane 
River. In this variety the jasperoid pebbles are exces- 
sively flattened, and often sheared, by the crushing 

Not far from the locality where this variety was 
seen, and close to the northern extremity of the Prince 
of Wales Range, the .writer observed a quartzitic schist, 
which seems to be a crushed quartzose conglomerate. 
The rock when freshly broken appears to be a quartzitic 
schist of the usual type described below, but weathered 
surfaces show smooth elongated protuberances stand- 
ing in relief above the general surface of the rock. The 
character of these weathered surfaces is thus entirely 
similar to that of the schistose conglomerate of Goat 
Island, near Ulverstone. And the rock would appear to 
be a true conglomerate, the nature of which is not at 
first sight obvious, on account of the similarity of com- 
position between the original pebbles and interstitial 
sand, and the consequent like alteration of coarser and 
finer ingredients by secondary processes. 

In several other places within the observed limits of 
the Pre-Cambrian the writer has observed rocks which 
he regards as conglomerates, the original characters of 
which are masked by an intimate impregnation with 
siFca. They now appear as dense quartzites, showing 
slight variations of colour and texture in the several 
portions of the same rock mass. These portions, which 
thus differ inter se, exhibit semi-rounded to subangular 

With these crushed and altered sediments of coarser 
grain are associated a great variety of schists and 


quartzites, in such a way that the vrhole group must be 
considered together as a series of sediments formed by 
aqueous agencies. The interstratification of the schis- 
tose conglomerates and the geneticahy related argil- 
laceous, micaceous, and quartzitic schists is perhaps 
most clearly displayed on the northern coast, near Ulver- 
stone. There the beds are tilted, so that they stand on 
edge, and the succession of the several varieties is seen 
to be just such as is usually found where sediments have 
been deposited tmder varying conditions. 

The variety displayed by these schists of finer grain 
is remarkable. The nature and proportions of the con- 
stituent minerals, and the degree of schistosity acquired, 
all vary from point to point. 

Most commonly the schists are constituted of an 
aggregate of quartz and a sericitic mica. These quartz- 
mica schists pass on the one hand, by insensible grada- 
tions, into pure quartzites, and on the other into mica 
schists. The intermediate varieties are characteristic of 
the series as a whole. 

The quartzite-schists are at times remarkable for the 
perfection of the cleavage which they display, the de- 
velopment of the mica being such that thin flakes, no 
more than a millimetre in thickness, can be successively 
detached. In some cases this fissile schist exhibits a 
minute but elaborate puckering, which shows admirably 
the nature of the stresses to .which the rock has been 
subjected. This latter variety is especially noticeable 
on the Linda Track, between the Collingvvood and 
Franklin Rivers. 

The argillaceous schists are widelv distributed 
through the regions occupied by these Pre-Cambrian 
rocks, and are especially abundant in the neighbour- 
hood of Cox's Bight. They show clearly, in some cases, 
the original planes of stratification, and are little dif- 
ferent in any particulars from unaltered shales. In other 
cases these argillaceous varieties have had a slaty 
cleavage impressed upon them, and are converted into 
true slates. 

They merge into schists, in which mica predomi- 
nates. These possess a colour which usually varies be- 
tween pale green and yellowish grey, and possess a 
greasy feel. The quartz is commonly restricted to len- 
ticles and wavv bands. Other varieties are reddish from 



the development of haematite. In other varieties, again, 
the colour is dark gre}^, from the presence of some 
colouring matter the nature of which is obscure. Some 
of the dark varieties are clearly graphitic, but are not 
commonly seen. 

In the upper part of the Collingwood River valley 
some garnetiferous varieties have been found by the 
writer. And near the latter, as elsewhere throughout 
the neighbouring district, there are present some em- 
"bryonic minerals in the schist which, from their pre- 
sence, exhibits knots and complementary depressions 
on the cleavage surfaces. 

The quartzites found among these markedly schis- 
tose rocks are frequently perfectl}^ free from all signs of 
foliation. They are almost always pure white in colour 
and extremely dense in texture. 

The freedom from foliation in these rocks is prob- 
ably largely due to an original purity of composition. 
The absence of the foliation, nevertheless, appears re- 
markable when the quartzitic beds, perfectly free from 
visible schistosity, are seen interlaminated with the 
foliated mica schists. The microscopical characters of 
such quartzites have not yet been studied. 

It may be that the quartzitic bands have moved as 
a whole before the crushing forces. However, it ap- 
pears to the writer more probable that the foliated ap- 
pearance of the micaceous schists is largely cau&ed by 
recrystallisation under pressure rather than by actual 
displacement of adjacent particles. Over and above this 
foliation there has been induced also, in very many 
cases, elaborate crumpling; but a foliated texture may 
result where crumpling has not occurred. It will be seen 
later that in some places the quartzites are folded and 

Summing up, the several schists of which mention 
has been made must undoubtedly represent a great 
aeries of sediments — psephites, psammites, and pelites 
— which have suffered dynamical metamorphism. 

This Hthological division of the Pre-Cambrian com- 
prises by far the larger portion of the rocks to which 
reference is made in this paper. 


(b) Schists of Igneous Origin. 

Associated with these quartzites, quartz-mica schists^ 
arg-illaceous, and micaceous schists are certain amphi- 
'bolites, to which the writer would ascribe an igneous 

The largest development of these amphibolites is 
that which has been observed in the Rocky River dis- 
trict by Mr. W. H. Twelvetrees. 

Less 'extensive occurrences have been recorded from 
Hamilton-on-Forth and the Collingwood River Valley. 
In both of these latter cases there is a notable develop- 
ment of garnet and zoisite. 

The detailed description of these interesting rock 
types is postponed, pending a more minute micro- 
scopical examination. 

The only other rocks of igneous origin which may 
possibly belong to the Pre-Cambrian are certain pegma- 
tites, which have been found in the Collingwood River 
Valley and in the neighbourhood of Calder's Pass. 
There is, however, a very strong probability that these 
have been introduced into the schist series in Devonian 


Few constant features of structure have been re- 
corded from the several exposures of these rocks which 
have been examined. The distribution "is so wide that, 
in the absence of complete and systematic surveying, 
this is not 'a matter for surprise. And although much 
is to be gained by the careful examination of the struc- 
tural characters of the group as a whole, little achieve- 
ment has so far been possible in these matters. 

The recognition of any definite horizons in the sys- 
tem is naturally a matter of importance for purposes of 
stratigraphical delimitation. 

In the case of the highly schistose and crumpled 
members of the system, it is almost impossible to arrive 
at any satisfactory conclusion regarding the total thick- 
ness of the beds or their original order of stratification.. 



With regard to the development of the&e rocks on 
the South Coast of Tasmania, Mr. W. H. Twelvetrees 
has estimated the thickness at 13,000 feet as a minimum 
(i). This calculation is based on the assumption thai 
no large anticlinal folds exist, and that the average dip 
is not less than 10 degrees. 

During the recent western exploration work in the 
neighbourhood of the Frenchman's Cap, the writer was 
enabled to make some observations which should here 
be recorded. 

The outstanding feature of the Pre-Cam'brian in that 
region is the existence of a considerable thickness of 
bedded quartzite schist lying in an approximately hori- 
zontal position upon the top of the quartz schist, quartz- 
mica schists, and micaceous or argillaceous schists. 

Viewing this thick layer of quartzite schist from the 
tops of the ranges, one gains the conviction that it is a 
single horizon, resulting from the alteration of a once 
continuous horizon of sandstone. This horizon appa- 
rently extended from the Raglan Range southwards to 
the Frenchman's Cap and the Surveyor's Range, and 
eastwards to a mountain (called by the writer A'lgonkian 
Mountain) at the northern extremity of the Prince of 
Wales Range, and slightly to the westward of the axis 
of that range. Whether the white serrate peaks of the 
Prince of Wales Range are on this horizon the writer 
cannot say. 

Only the highest portions of the ranges mentioned 
are composed of this quartzite schist, which in most 
cases stands up boldly with precipitous walls above the 
slopes carved in the softer schists. 

From a short distance the quartzite schist appears 
to be a bedded sandstone, since the progress of weather- 
ing accentuates the original bedding planes. But on 
closer examination a slight schistosity is noticeable 
throughout the rock. 

This horizon, as a whole, is not free from foliation, 
»iid the best view of the folding is obtained from the 

(i) Proceedings A.A.A.S.. Adelaide. 1907, " Probable Pre- 
Cambrian Strata in Tasmania," p. 470. 


highest peak of the Surve3^or's Range. Looking thence 
towards the north, the eastern portion of the s.ummit of 
the Frenchman's Cap is seen to be folded into gentle 
anticlines and synclines, and to have been fractured. 
The other portions of the horizon appear to have re- 
mained unaffected, and to be nearly horizontal. The 
massive layers so plainly visible on the north-western 
and western faces of Algonkian Mountain appear quite 
undisturbed by folding forces, and dip at a low angle 
towards the south-west. 

Between these remaining summits of the ranges the 
quartzite schist stratum has been removed by denuda- 
tions, and the subjacent schists are exposed. 

The horizon of quartzite schist rests unconform.ably 
upon the quartz-schist and mica-schists, which show a 
much more intense folation. This unconformity is 
clearly &een on travelling along the top of the Sur- 
veyor's Range; The higher peaks of this range (which 
lies between the Jane and Acheron Rivers) are of the 
more massive variety, and the abrupt change into the 
highly contorted schists of the main mass of the range 
is most noticeable. 

The existence of plainly horizontal layers of the rock 
overlying the contorted schists is a strong argument for 
not only the presence of a marked unconformity, but 
also for a long period of erosion between the tune of 
foliation of the lower schists and that of the deposition 
of the upper quartzose sediments, which have since 
been rendered slightly schistose. 

Confirmatory evidence must be obtained throughout 
this region before these views can be fully accepted ; 
but the writer is strongly of the opinion that there is a 
distinct unconformity present in the district, and that 
two distinct periods of sedimentation are represented, 
and that a protracted period of erosion has intervened 
between the deposition of the lower and upper members. 
The greater degree of contortion displayed by the lower 
series may be accounted for by the fact that these rocks 
have suffered plication before the upper horizon was 

If it be granted that there are two such distinct 
series among the Pre-Cambrian sediments in Tasmania, 



an interesting comparison may be drawn between the 
Tasmanian occurrences and those of Canada. This 
matter is discussed in a later portion of this paper. 

In estimating- the thickness of the sediments repre- 
sented in the region surrounding the Frenchman's Cap, 
it is evident that the structural features, referred to 
here, must be duly considered. Enough detailed infor- 
mation has not yet been acquired to give even an ap- 
proximate idea of the true thickness of the upper and 
lower series of which mention has been made. 

The writer claims that there is a marked uncon- 
formity, above which several hundred feet of sediments 
exist, and below which a very much greater thickness 
is represented by the more schistose members of the 
Pre-Cambrian. About 2,000 feet of the latter schists 
are visible in the immediate neighbourhood of the 
Frenchman's Cap, if we calculate only the vertical dis- 
tance between the lower limit of the upper quartzite on 
the top of the range and the bottom of the river gorges 
carved in the foliated schists. But it is more than prob- 
able that the vertical thickness of the schistose strata in 
this region differs from that of the original beds. No 
account has been taken of the effects of compression 
and foliation, nor can these be quantitatively estim.ated 
in the present state of our knowledge. 

The recognition of two distinct horizons in the Pre- 
Cambrian necessitates a very careful treatment of the 
structural features of strike and dip, unless it is per- 
fectly plain which horizon is under examination. 

In the region traversed by the Franklin River and 
its tributaries the upper horizon is, on the whole, as in- 
dicated above, nearly horizontal, but the variations in 
dip and strike of the lower members are very marked. 

A general absence of regularity of structure is 
noticeable in 'every district, and the axes of the main 
foldings do not appear to have extended for long dis- 

Nor have the folds exerted any appreciable effect 
upon the topography. No traces of ancient fold ranges 
have remained in those areas where these rocks have 
been examined by the writer. And the outlines of the 
present mountain ranges are noticeably independent of 
the rock structure. 



Where the Pre-Cambrian rocks are penetrated by 
igneous intrusions, the latter do not, in general, appear 
to acquire forms .which are moulded by the structure of 
the schists. The only exception which may be cited is 
that of the small dykes or veins of pegmatite in the 
valley of the Collingwood River. 


Having come to the conclusion that the great bulk 
•of these Pre-Cambrian rocks represent aqueous sedi- 
ments, more or Less altered subsequently to their de- 
position, but accumulated under conditions similar to 
those existing on continental borders at the present 
time, we naturally look for the sources of the fragmental 
material which built up these ancient beds of con- 
glom^erate, sandstone, and shale. 

The composition of these beds gives some idea of 
the nature of the rocks whence the fragments were de- 
rived. For the vast accumulation of clay and silica must 
Iiave resulted from the disintegration of quartz and alu- 
minous silicates. By the action of the many processes 
involved in the weathering of such rocks, the transport 
of the fragmental matter to the sea, the sorting distri- 
bution and final deposition of this material on the sea 
floor, these Pre-Cambrian sedimentary beds were built 

But there have not yet been seen in situ in Tasmania 
any rocks of greater age than these sediments. Detached 
boulders (i) have been found which present analogies, 
in both composition and structure, with the lower Pre- 
Cambrian rocks of other parts of the world ; but these 
l)Oulders have not yet been traced to their source. 

The quartz and aluminous silicates nmst have been 
derived from some still older primary rocks, probably 
now hidden beneath the sea. 

(i) One of these boulders, of a coarse gneiss, was found 
by Mr. G. A.. Waller at the 29-milc peg on Innes' Track to 
Barn Bluff. Garnetifcrous gneiss boulders also occur in the 
permo-carboniferous glacial beds whichi outcrop on the North 
Coast at Wynyard. 



No definite clue being provided in Tasmania, we look 
to the Australian continent for signs of the existence of 
Archaean rocks, which may be remnants of the Pre- 
Cambrian land mass that was the source of these sedi- 

Brief mention is made below of the Australian occur- 
rences of Pre-Cambrian rocks. Of these the rocks 
which bear most directly upon the question now being 
discussed are the gneisses, gneissose granites, and horn- 
blendic schists of Western Australia ; and the gneisses 
of South Australia. These bear the strongest lithological 
resemblance to the Archaean rocks of other countries. 

The Pre-Cambrian schists of Tasmania m.ay well 
have derived their material from these ancient crystal- 
line gneisses, schists, and granites, and possibl}^ from 
the more proximate southward extensions of the masses 
referred to above now covered by the Southern Ocean. 

This question of genesis demands a much greater 
elaboration than can here be efifected. It is sufficient 
to state that these quartzites, argillaceous, and mica- 
ceous schists and schistose conglomerates constitute 
the terrigenous deposits formed on the borders of the 
Pre-Cambrian Australis — a land mass known from its 
exposed remnants to be competent to provide such 

After the prolonged period of sedimentation which 
is represented by the lower schists and conglomerates, 
a period marked by intense dynamic metamorphism 
must 'have ensued. 'Tlie subsequent erosion of these 
older schists levelled the floor upon which the upper 
sediments were deposited. 

The schistosity observed in these upper members of 
the Pre-Cambrian may have been induced before the 
period of deposition of the Cambrian sediments. For 
there is a notable difiference in appearance between the 
appearance of the upper Pre-Cambrian quartzitic schist 
and that of any sedimentary rock of later date. 

A notable unconformity exists between the Cambrian 
and the Pre-Cambrian sediments at the northern end of 
the Denison Range. There is, however, not yet suffi- 
cient evidence available upon which to base an account 
of the physiography of Western Tasmania at the time 
of the Cambrian sedimentation. 



Orogenic movements, which have tilted the Cam- 
brian rocks till they stand vertically in some places, 
must have affected the subjacent Pre-Cambrian rocks 
as well. 

After the close of the Cambrian period no schistosit}^ 
of any moment appears to have been developed in any 
of the Tasmanian rocks. 

The Ordovician sedini'ents indicate a deep submer- 
gence of Western Tasmania beneath the ocean, and 
traces of the marine limestones still occupy the beds of 
some of the western rivers. These are not deposited 
conformably upon the sediments of Cambrian age, and 
their position in deep troughs carved in the schists 
argues for a mature erosion of the areas covered by the 
Pre-Cambrian rocks before submergence in Ordovician 

Since the exposed peaks and ridges of Pre-Cambrian 
rocks appear to attain altitudes which are approximately 
the same, the idea suggests itself that a peneplain may 
have been developed in late Pre-Cambrian or Cambrian 
time. This peneplain may have been deeply dissected 
before the Ordovician period. However, this matter 
demands much more detailed investigation over the 
whole of the Pre-Cambrian terrain. 

The area lying between the Raglan Range and the 
Prince of Wales Range, examined by the writer, appears 
to have regained many of the fundamental outlines 
which it possessed at the beginning of the Ordovician 
period. These outlines were masked by the deposition 
of Ordovician and Silurian sediments, and then, after an 
interval, of those of Permo-Carboniferous and Mesozoic 

The only igneous invasion which was sufficiently 
widespread to deserve mention here is that of the upper 
Mesozoic diabase. This diabase still remains in the form 
of outliers capping the mountains built of Cambrian and 
Pre-Cambrian rocks. Its distribution argues a much 
wider extent than is now apparent, and its existence 
postulates a cover of sedimentary rocks, since removed 
by subaerial denudation. 

Since the close of the Mesozoic era progressive de- 
gradation of the whole of Western Tasmania has con- 
tinued almost without interruption ; and in the final 
stages of this 'long cycle of erosion the' physiography of 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.E. j.^ 

earl}^ Palaezoic time has exerted a powerful influence 
in the moulding of the land forms of to-day. 

The overlying sediments have been worn down, and 
great gorges have been carved through the diabase down 
on to the Pre-Cambrian bedrock. 

On the flanks of these valleys there remain in some 
places the remnants of former sedimentary basins. For 
instance, on the north-western face of Mount Arrow- 
smith lies the fragment of a Silurian sandstone formation! 
dipping to the westward at a low angle. The same for- 
mation has been to a greater degree preserved in the 
area lying to the northward of the Raglan Range. And 
even here the Nelson River is now steadily removing 
the softer sandstone, while the relatively harder quartz 
schist of the Raglan Range is forcing the river channel 
ever to the northward. 

Still more significant of the surviving control exerted 
by the lower Palaeozoic physiography over prcbCfit land 
forms is the distribution of the limestone in the valleys 
of the western rivers — especially of the Gordon River 
and its tributaries. Recent exploratory work has proved 
a remarkable restriction of limestone (all the exposures 
of which appear to be of Ordovician age) to the bottom 
of some of these valle3'-s. In some cases the limestone 
is only visible actually in the beds of the rivers which 
traverse these valleys. These latter remarks apply to 
the Jane and Denison River valleys. 

In the case of the Surprise River, which occupies 
the gorge between Mount King William ist and the 
Loddon Range, the limestone has been cut through by 
the corrosive action of the river, and is now situated a. 
few feet above river level. 

The manner in which these ancient sediments con- 
form to the present physiographical outlines is at least 
suggestive of the theory here advanced. 

But it must be remembered that an explanation of 
the phenomena exhibited by such a restricted area can- 
not be applied beyond the limits of this area. The 
Ordovician Hmestone of Western Tasmania is not 
always found in the depths of the valleys, and occur- 
rences which might seem to contradict the hypothesis 
here put forward are probably to be easily explained in 
different ways. The corrosive action of the different 
rivers may have outstripped erosion and left the lime- 


stone on the higher country ; or, again, local displace- 
ments of the crusts may give rise to modes of occur- 
rence which may seem at variance with this theory. 
Yet, in the case of the occurrences of limestone in the 
valleys of the Jane and Denison Rivers, at least, we 
seem to be forced to the conclusion here stated. It will 
be interesting to ascertain the limits over which the 
theory may appear applicable as the geological survey 
of the island proceeds. 

Whik we may, in the opinion of the writer, safely 
accept the theory for the restricted area, it must be 
borne in mind that changes are continually being 
effected. The cycle of erosion now operative has cer- 
tainly modified the former features, but the main scheme 
of existing topography seems to correspond closely 
with that which obtained at the close of the Cambrian 

Tlie physiography of the central western area has 
been determined by erosion rather than by structure, by 
epigene rather than by hypogene agencies. 

This account of the physiographical history of the 
Pre-Cambrian has been written mainly from the evi- 
dence afforded by the central western area, since the 
writer is most familiar with that area. Alodifications 
may be necessary with an increase of information, but 
it is contended that this historical outline is substan- 
tially correct. 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.E. j^y 


A map of Tasmania showing the several areas occu- 
pied by Pre-Cambrian rocks has been prepared to ac- 
company this paper. On this map the several areas are 
numbered, and reference is here made to the different 
districts in the order in which they have been numbered 
on the map. 

I. The Asbestos Range area, lying to the west of 
Beaconsfield, and extending southwards from the coast- 
line at Badger Head, comprises a series of micaceous 
schists, slates, and grits, with a strike of N. lodeg. W. 
to N. 2odeg. W. (i). These rocks are bounded on the 
east by serpentine and other igneous rocks in the 
vicinity of Beaconsfield (2). On the coast-line recent 
sands and drift overlap the Pre-Cambrian on both sides 
of the range (3). 

The southward extension of this belt of schistose has 
not yet been fully mapped. 

II. At Hamilton-on-Forth there is an exposure of the 
Pre- Cambrian bedrock in the gorge of the Forth River. 
The rocks represented are quartzites, quartz-mica, mica 
ceous and graphitic schists, and with these a belt of 

The strike of the schistose sediments varies from N. 
lodeg. W. to N. 3odeg. W., and they dip to the south- 

This exposure is covered, save in the river gorge, by 
Tertiary basalt ; and on being followed southwards is 
found to disappear below the Cambrian formations (4). 

(i) See W. H. Twelvetrees' " Report on Coal near George 
Town, and Slate near Badger Head," 1904. 

(2) See W. H. Twelvetrees' "Report: on the Mineral Re- 
sources of the districts of Beaconsfield and Salisbury," 1903. 

(3) See T. Stephens' " Notes on the Geology of the North- 
West Coast of Tasmania from the River Tamar to Circular 
Head," Proc. Linnaean Soc. of New South Wales, 1908. 

(4) See W. H. Twelvetrees' " Report on the North-West 
Coast Mineral Deposits," 1905. 


III. On the northern coast-line, at TJlverstone, a 
complex series of the schistose sediments and quartzites- 
described above is to be seen (i). These rocks extend 
eastwards as far as Button's Rivulet, and westwards to 
the middle of Barkworth's Bay, west of Goat Island. 

On both sides the schists are bounded by Tertiary 

At the mouth of the Leven River the strike is, on 
the average, about N. lodeg. E,., while to the west of 
Goat Island it ranges from N. I2deg. E. to N. 3odeg. 
E. The dip is to the north-west. 

IV. Between Jacob's Boat Harbour and the Deten- 
tion River, on the northern coast, there are found 
quartzites and quartz-schists (2). Rocky Cape is built 
up of massive bedded quartzites, which extend a mile 
and a half southwards beyond the main road. 

At Rocky Cape port the bedded quartzites strike N. 
of E., and the contorted quartz-schists which succeed 
tbem on the west strike N. Sodeg. E. At Jacob's Boat 
Harbour the strike is N.W., and the dip towards the 

The southern extension of these rocks is covered by 
Tertiary basalt. 

V. A narrow belt of Pre-Cambrian rocks has been 
observed at the junction of the Whyte and Rocky 
Rivers, crossing the Waratah-Corinna road (3). This 
road, between points distant from Waratah 19 miles and 
315'^ miles, traver&es the belt referred to diagonally. 
However, the observed width of these rocks is only 
about four miles. 

The Rocky River schists are amphibolites, some- 
times compact and granular, sometimes distinctly schis- 
tose, flanked on either side by schistose sediments. 

(i) Geological Survey of Tasmania, Bulletin No. 5, 1909. 

(2) See W. H. Twelvetrees' " Report on the North-West 
Coast Mineral Deposits," 1905. 

(3) See W. li. Twelvetrees' " Report on the ]\Iineral Fields 
between Waratah and Corinna," 1900. 



The Long Plain, on the east of the amphibolite, con- 
tains quartzitic, sericitic, and graphitic schists. To the 
westward the country contains slate and quartz schist, 
but no detailed geological examination has yet been 

This zone of schists is known to extend in a north- 
westerly direction for 10 miles, where it crosses the 
Savage River. 

The strike of these rocks is N. lodeg. W., and the 
■dip to the N.E.. 

VI. The most northerly of the larger areas covered 
hy the Pre-'Cambrian rocks is that which extends from 
the Mackintosh River on the west to the Forth River 
•on the east, and almost to the Dove River on the north 

The western portion of this area is penetrated by Ihe 
granite of Granite Tor (2) and there is a larger area of 
Permo-carboniferous sandstone, capped by diabase, 
overlying it at Barn Bluff. On the south similar rocks 
to these last-mentioned go to build up the Eldon Range, 
which separates this area from that which is numbered 

The rocks are chiefly foliated quartz-schists, with 
Ttiicaceous and argillaceous schists as well, the strike of 
-which is a few degrees N. of W. at Barn Bluff. 

VII. What is probably a small outlier of the latter 
'area is situated between the head of the King River and 
the North Eldon River, to the east and south-east of 
Lake Dora. 

VIII. The largest unbroken development is that 
which extends southwards from the vicinity of the 
Eldon Range throughout the greater part of the basin 
of the Franklin River (3). On the north-west it is 
•bounded by the superincumbent Silurian sediments 

(i) See G. A. Waller, " Report on the Mineral Districts of 
Bell Mount, Dove River, Five-mile Rise, Mount Pelion, and 
Barn Bluff," 1901. 

(2) 'Geological Survey of Tasmania, Bulletin No. 3. 

(3) See " Report of the Department of Lands and Surveys 
for 19Q7-1908." 


which He to the north of the Raglan Range. On the 
north-east it extends to the edge of the Central Plateau, 
where the upper Mesozoic diabase covers it. 

The Raglan Range, the Frenchman's Cap, and De- 
ception Range form the observed western borders of 
this area. On the eastward the lower slopes of Mount 
Gell, Mount Arrowsmith, and the western slopes of the 
Loddon Range form the limits of these schists. A con- 
siderable area of Cambrian rocks has been seen to over- 
lie the Pre-Cambrian to the east of the Frenchman's 
Cap. And Ordovician limestone has been located in the 
beds of the Denison and Jane Rivers. (It has been 
found impossible to represent the Jane River limestone 
on the map, for the reasons that the outcrop is abso- 
lutely restricted to the river bed, and the scale of the 
map will not admit of the representation of such a 
narrow band.) 

The eastern boundar}' of the Pre-Cambrian Ues to 
the west of the Denison Range, and crosses the Gordon 
River near the junction of the latter with the Wedge 
River. Thence it has been observed to run southwards 
a little to the east of Lake Pedder. Beyond this point 
it has not been followed, but it is thought to continue 
to the south coast near the New River. 

This southern extension of the Pre-Cambrian em- 
braces the Frankland Range, and probably the country 
between that range and Port Davey. 

All varieties of quartzites, quartzite-schists, mica- 
ceous, argillaceous, and graphitic schists are found 
within the limits of this area. The probable existence 
of an upper horizon of quartzite-schist has been indi- 
cated above. 

To the west of the Denison Range the strike is 
usually north-easterly. South of the Gordon River the 
strike varies between N. 5deg. and N. 3odeg. W. 

IX. The most southerly development is that which 
extends from a point to the westward of New River 
along the south-western coast beyond Port Davey. This 
area is pierced bv a small intrusion of granite at Cox's 
Bight (I). 

(i) See W. H. Twelvetrees' " Report on Cox's Bight Tia 
Field,"' 1906. 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.E. i^j 

The northern and north-western Hmits have not yet 
been determined. The area is probably continuous with 
that which has last been described (VIII.). 

There are quartzites interbedded with argillaceous 

schists at Cox's Bight. These have a strike between 

N.N.W. and N.W., and dip to the south-west at low 

Of Port Davey there is but little known, save that 
the white quartzites of the port extend northwards 
alons: the coast for some distance. 


It is impossible to discuss the nomenclature of these 
rocks without at the same time briefly discussing the 
relationship which they bear to rocks of like age in 
extra-Australian areas. 

In assigning an age to the strata which have been 
deposited since the beginning of the Cambrian era, the 
evidence of the fossils preserved in the rocks is the most 
important. But with regard to the Pre-Cambrian no 
such criteria are available. 

It is true that there are well-authenticated cases of 
the existence of organic remains in beds which are 
stratigraphicall}^ lower than those containing the typical 
lower Cambrian fauna ; and it is also true that the 
diversity of the Cambrian fauna presupposes a Pre- 
Cambrian fauna. But all organic remains are ill-pre- 
served in the Pre-Cambrian rocks, while in Tasmania 
no such remains have yet been detected. 

On stratigraphical evidence we have come to the 
conclusion that the Tasmanian rocks here discussed are 
truly Pre-Cambrian. But the word " Pre-Cambrian " 
cannot but be regarded as merely a temporary epithet, 
to be replaced by one which will define the age more 
exactly when our knowledge of these rocks has become 
sufficiently advanced to ustify a refinement in classifica- 

For the word " Pre-Cambrian," used in its literal 
sense to designate those rocks which are of greater an- 
tiquity than the Cambrian, embraces several rock- 



groupings now fully recognised in the regions in which 
they are represented. It has been estimated that these 
groupings of the Pre-Cambrian are comparable in im- 
portance to the systems (Cambrian, Ordovician, Silu- 
rian, etc.) into which the Palaeozoic has been divided. 

Hence Messrs. T. C. Chamberlin and R. D. Salisbury 
hav€ in their Geology (i) divided the Pre-Cambrian 
rocks into two main groups of systems — the Proterozoic 
■and the Archaeozoic — ^which rank more nearly with the 
main subdivisions of the upper portion of the Geological 
Record, viz., Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cainozoic. 

By thes€ authors the Proterozoic and Archaeozoic 
are again divided in the manner indicated in the table 
of classification which has been prepared to show the 
various systems of nomenclature. 

The Pre-Cambrian succession in North America has 
been specially studied by a committee appointed by the 
Geological Surveys of the United States and Canada, 
and the classification adopted by the members of this 
committee (2) is given in the accompanying comparative 

It will be seen that the succession stated by this com- 
mittee, to be applicable to the North American areas, 
differs from that of Messrs. Chamberlin and Salisbury. 
The chief difference lies in the transposition of the two 
lowest groups. Messrs. Chamberlin and Salisbury 
agree with other American geologists in placing the 
Laurentian above the great schist series (which includes 
the Keewatin), for the reason that in many cases the 
granites and gneisses of the Laurentian occur as intru- 
sions into the schist series. However, this question has 
no direct bearing on the Tasmanian developments, and 
will not be further discussed. 

On the whole, therefore, it will be conceded that a 
definite succession of groups has been established for 
the North American region. 

There are, however, differences of opinion as to how 
these Pre-Cambrian series may best be included in 
major groupings. 

(i) Loc. cit.. Vol. II., p. 139. 

(2) Ibidem, Vol. II.. p. 161. Also Journal of Geology, Vol. 
XIII., No. 2, 1905, pp. 89-104. 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.B. jco 

There are, according to C. R. Van Hise, two main 
'divisions of the Pre-Cambrian which are to be recog- 
nised in all parts of the world where rocks of this age 
are found (i). This twofold division is based upon the 
essential dififerences in the lithological character of the 
upper and lower members of the Pre-Cambrian. 

The term Archaean is now restricted to that portion, 
of dominantly igneous origin, which constitutes the 
"basal complex. It corresponds to the " Archaeozoic " of 
Messrs. Chamberlin and Salisbury. 

On the other hand, the term " Algonkian " is applied 
to those rocks the origin of which is, in the main, 
aqueous (2). Igneous rocks are associated with these, 
but are subordinate in amount. The term Algonkian 
• corresponds to the " Proterozoic " of Messrs. Chamber- 
lin and Salisbury. 

This subdivision of the Pre-Cambrian into these two 
groups has not, however, met with universal acceptance. 

In the light of the more recent researches in the 
North American region, doubt has arisen in the minds 

■ of the Canadian geologists as to the value of lithological 

■ character alone as the basis of correlation. 

Professor F. D. Adams, in a recent paper (3), sug- 
_gests the use of epochs of diastrophism in the compara- 
tive study of the Pre-Cambrian rocks of North America 
and Asia, with a view to correlation. 

In this paper Professor Adams shows that there are 
" three major periods in the Pre-Cambrian history of 
Laurentia, separated by two critical periods of diastro- 
phism " (4). Of these breaks, the lower coincides with 
that which separates the Algonkian from the Archaean; 
while the upper break divides the Middle Huronian from 
the Upper Huronian (Animikean). 

(i) United States Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 86. Also 
Journal of Geology, Vol. XVII., No. 2, 1909, pp. 97-104, 118- 

(2) It is interesting to note that the late M. A. de Lap- 
parent brought this upper division into his Palaeozoic group, 
calling it the Pre-Cambrian system. Below the Palaeozoic 
group he places the Archaean group. Traits de G>5ologie, 1906, 
Vol. II., pp. -/^z, 752-765. 

(3) Journal of Geology, Vol. XVII., No. 2, 1909, pp. 105- 
118, 122-123. 

(4) Loc. cit., p. 115. 


The same author has drawn attention to the exist- 
ence of similar epochs of diastrophism in Asia, and cor- 
relates the Asiatic succession with that of North America 
by a time relation to these diastrophic epochs. 

AVith the question of the North American-Asiatic 
correlation we are not here concerned ; but we are 
bound to consider most carefully Professor Adams' 
contention that the Pre-Cambrian group should be 
divided into three systems rather than two. For Pro- 
fessor Adams insists that the upper break — called by 
Professor Lawson the " eparchaean interval " — is " one 
of the greatest unconformities in the whole of the Pre- 
Cambrian succession of Laurentia, and probably quite 
as important, if not more so, than the break at the close 
of the Keewatin " (i). 

As regards the Tasmanian Pre-Cambrian terrain, 
any attempt to apply in detail the conclusions arrived at 
by American geologists is not yet warranted. 

While close correlation cannot be attempted, some 
account should be given of the more general relation- 
ships of the Tasmanian occurrences. 

We know that the Pre-Cambrian rocks of Tasmania 
are typically such as would be designated Algonkian by 
Van Hise. Moreover, the writer holds the opinion that 
there is, at least in the district surrounding the head of 
the Jane River, a twofold division of these rocks, and 
that the two groups are separated b)^ an unconformity. 
But much detailed field work must yet be done before 
any sound deductions can be drawn from the existence 
of this unconformity. Exact correlation with the rocks 
of distant geological provinces is quite impossible. 

Moreover, it must be borne in mind that one uncon- 
formity only has yet been observed in the Tasmanian 
Pre-Cambrian development. In the North American 
succession three unconformities above the Lower 
Huronian series (2) are recognised by the members of 
the classification committee, although there is a want of 
agreement in the matter of the importance that should 
be attached to the different unconformities. On this 
question the special committee expressed no opinion. 

(i) Loc. cit., p. 122. 

(2) See comparative table at the end of this paper. 

BY L. KEITH WARD, B.A., B.E. 155 

Supposing for the moment that the Tasmanian un- 
conformity should correspond exactly to one of those 
recognised in the North American region, we do not 
know which of these it might be, nor whether it is a 
major or minor one. 

Nevertheless, in the future attempts to unravel the 
Pre-Cambrian history of Tasmania, the observations of 
North American geologists must be kept constantly in 

It may be possible to effect some compromise be- 
tween the schemes of nomenclature proposed by Van 
Hise and Adams, which are shown side by side in the 
accompanying table. The use of terms with a "zoic" 
termination appears to the writer to involve the assump- 
tion of a greater knowledge of Pre-Cambrian life than 
that which we really possess. And, on the other hand, 
the term Algonkian is rapidly gaining acceptance in 
countries outside of America. Perhaps the modifications, 
Analgonkian and Katalgonkian may serve to distinguish 
the two major groupings of those Pre-Cambrian rocks 
which post-date the Archaean. 

It has been found impossible to correlate the Pre- 
Cambrian rocks of Tasmania with those of Australia 
from a lack of familiarity with the extra-Tasmanian de- 

In the latest volume of the Official Year Book of 
the Commonwealth of Australia (i), condensed sum- 
maries are given of the geology of the various States. 
From a perusal of these it will be seen that rocks of 
Algonkian type are developed in Victoria, South Aus- 
tralia, Western Australia, and in the Broken Hill area 
of New South Wales. 

(i) Op. cit., No. 2, 1909, pp. 78-111. 





I. Map of the distribution of the Pre-Cambrian rocks in 


The boundaries of the Pre-Cambrian areas are drawn where 
•they have been determined. 

Where no boundar}' hne is drawn round the hatched areas 
"it is impHed that further investigations may reveal a more ex- 
tended distribution of these rocks in those directions not 
Hmited by observed boimdaries. 

II. The generahsed sections are not drawn to scale. They 
are intended to represent only the relationships between 
the several formations represented. 

While they are to be regarded as diagrams only, the dips 
'of the various beds are represented as accurately as is possible 
hy the inclination of the lines which serve to indicate, in a 
.general way, the bedding planes. 

Section I. represents a length of about five miles. 

Section II. represents a length of about one mile. 

Section III. represents a length of about five miles. 

Section IV. rep. t ts a length of about four miles. 


D. Adams. 


Upper Huronian or 

/'Middle Huronian 

Lower Huronian 


..-{ Intrusive Contact 




Classification CoinniiUee of llie 

Geological Surveys of tlie U.S.A. 

ami Canada. 

T. C. Chamberlin and R. U. Salisbury. 

C. R. Van Hise. 

V. U. Adams. 

Kecweenawan (Nipigon) 



/Keeweenawan- A thuliiiscii 


'Upper (AniiiiiUie) 




Upper Hurouian 

Upper Hurouian or 



Middle Iluronian 

I Mill. lie liuroniau 


\ Lower 

' Lower Hurouian 

Eniptivi- Contact 

Great Granitoid 


lias's 0„..Sc» 


ARCH.HAN -.ErHplive Contact 


1-:0-PR0T1-;R0Z0IC ...\lntnisive Contact 

NOTE.— The horizontal lines indicate the position of unconformities ; Double lines are used lo designate the major unconformities. 

. Soc Tasm.. 1909. 









fl/V£H T AMAf: 

-•\~^.n\~ ...^ ^ 





YARD. (PL. IX., X., XL, XII.) 

By Fritz Noetling, M.A., Ph.D., etc. 
(Read October i8th, 1909.) 


The first description of the geological features of the 
coast near Wynyard was given forty years ago by Mr. 
T. Stephens (i) in a paper read before this Society. In 
this paper Mr. Stephens drew special attention to the 
conglomerates at the mouth of the Inglis, and, after 
mentioning the occurrence of large angular blocks of 
granite and porphyry, he goes on to say — " These mas- 
sive blocks of granite and other rocks which are not 
now found in situ within several miles of their present 
position, I consider to furnish more conclusive evidence 
of glacial agency in the geological history of Tasmania 
than I have m^et with elsewhere. . . ." As to the age 
of this conglomerate, Mr. Stephens says : — " It under- 
lies unconformably the tertiary freestone, which has 
been determined by Professor IVE'Coy to be of mlbcene 
age, and it contains boulders derived from rocks which 
are certainly not older than the lower carboniferous' or 
Devonian period."' 

■ Mr. Stephens was therefore the first to recognise 
the glacial origin of the " cong"lomerate " near Wynyard, 
and, though he does not exactly say so, the inference 
from the above passages is that he considers these beds 
to be of carboniferous age. Mr. Stephens, though per- 
haps not the first who advocated a palaeozoic glacial 
period, was certainly among the first who did so, and. 
what is more, he was the first who recognised ^the 
palaeozoic glacial period in Tasmania. 

(i) Remarks on the Geological Structure of Part of North, 
Coast of Tasmania, with special reference to the Tertiary Marine 
Beds near Table Cape. Proceed. Roy. Soc. Tas., 1869, pag. 1/. 


Twenty years later Mr. R. M. Johnston published 
his Geology of Tasmania. On page 258 of the standard 
work on Tasmanian 'Geology, Mr. Johnston gives the 
following section of the bluff near Sandy Cove, in de- 
scending order — 

4. Basalt, of palaeogene age. \ 

3. Turritella — group. C Eocene. 

2. Crassatella — bed. ) 
I. Conglomerate and shale. Silurian. 

Mr. Johnston is of the opinion that the basalt con- 
glomerate and shale are of silurian age, and that the 
Turritella group, as well as the Crassatella bed, belong 
to the Eocene. The age of the basalt is not exactl}^ 
stated, though it is included in the palaeogene epoch. 
(See also : R. M. Johnstone, Further Notes on the Ter- 
tiary Marine Beds of Table Cape, Pap. and Proceed. 
Roy. Soc. Tas., 1876, pag. 79 ; a very instructive though 
somewhat diagramatic section of Freestone Blufif ac- 
companies this paper.) 

Montgomery (i) visited this part of Tasmania about 
seven years later, and he dwells on the peculiar features 
of the conglomerate, which he terms " Wynyard forma- 
tion." He thinks that it forms the base of the permo- 
carboniferous series, and he agrees with Stephens as to 
the glacial origin. Waller (2), who writes a few years 
later, fully corroborates Stephens and Montgomery's 

In 1902 Kitson (3) publishes an exhaustive paper on 
the glacial beds near Wynyard. If I am not very much 
mistaken he was the first to recognise that numerous 
"boulders were scratched. Kitson mentions quite a 
number of dififerent rocks he found in the glacial drift, 
and from his list it is evident that rocks of the crvs- 

(i) Report on the Alineral Fields of the Gawler River. Pen- 
guin, Dial Range, Mount Housetop, Table Cape, Cam River, 
and portion of the Arthur River districts. Rep. of the Sec. of 
Mines, Tasmania, 1895-96. 

(2) Report on the Recent Discovery of Cannel Coal in the 
Parish of Preolenna. and upon the New Victory Copper Mine, 
near the Arthur River. Rep. of the Sec. of Mines. Tasmania, 
1901-02, pag. 77 ft. 

(3) On the Occurrence of Glacial Beds at Wynyard, near 
Table Cape, Tasmania. Proceed. Roy. Soc. of Victoria, Vol. 
XV. (New Series), Part I., 1902 oag. 28. 


talline series preponderate. He also mentions a boulder 
containing silurian fossils, which had been found by Mr. 
Stephens, the fossils being- described by R. Etheridge, 
jun. (i). Kitson concludes his paper with the remark 
that the glacial origin of these beds is beyond doubt. 
He is, however, less certain as to its age, but it is evi- 
dent that he accepts Montgomery's view, viz., that these 
beds form the base of the permo-carboniferous series. 

The last who dealt with these glacial beds is Mr. 
Stephens, who published forty years after the appear- 
ance of his first paper another one dealing with the 
geological features of the North-West Coast (2), in 
which he still more emphasises the views expressed in 
his first paper. 

In company with Mr. Stephens I visited Wynyard 
in February, 1908, and during my examination of the 
strata at Sandy Cove Blufif I made an observation, which 
may be of far-reaching consequence not only for the in- 
terpretation of this outcrop, but for the geology of Tas- 
mania on the whole. I intended to visit Wynyard again 
before publishing my notes, but as it is not very prob- 
able tliat I shall find time during the coming summer, 
and as others may visit Sandy Cove Bluff in the mean- 
time, I wish to draw the attention to the peculiar 
features I observed, with a view to have them either 
confirmed or refuted. Before discussing this particular 
point, I will briefiy describe the sequence of beds. 


In descending order we see — 
(c) Basalt. 

(b) Sandstone with fossils, 
(a) Clay with scratched boulders. 

(i) Description of Remains of Trilobites from the Lower 
Silurian Rocks of the Mersey River, and Brachiopoda from the 
Conglomerate of Table Cape. Pap. and Proceed. Roy. Soc, 
Tasmania, 1882, pag. 158. 

(2) Notes on the Geology of the North- West Coast of Tas- 
mania from the River Tamar to Circular Head. Proceed. 
Linnean Soc, New South Wales, 1908, Vol. XXXIII., pi. 4, 
pag. 752 ft. 


These three divisions represent the primary natural' 
subdivision of the series exposed at Freestone Bkifif 
(Sandy Cove), and I think that there cannot be the 
sHg-htest doubt about this. Difference of opinion enters 
only when we discuss the age and the relations of these 
three divisions, but before touching" this intricate point 
it will be well to describe shortly their main features : — 

(a) Clay with scratched boulders. (Glacial drift or 
Wynyard formation.) 

The glacial drift is well exposed along the outlet of 
the Inglis, and thence it can be followed in western 
direction past Freestone Bluff along the shore almost 
as far as Table Cape, where it disappears underneath 
the overlying sandstone. In eastern direction it can be 
followed close up"'to Woody Hill Point; the total length 
of exposure along the coast being about six miles (i). 
From Freestone Bluff towards Table Cape there is a de- 
cided dip towardJ^'^vest, but this dip does apparently not 
continue across the Inglis river, because if it did the 
glacial drift ought to be at a much higher level near 
Woody Hill Point than it is. Here it appears at sea 
level exactl}^ as at Freestone Bluff, and we must there- 
fore assume that the eastern portion from Woody Hill 
to Freestone Bluff is fairly level, and that the dip com- 
mences only west of the last-named point. It is prtety 
certain that it extends for a considerable distance in 
northern direction, because at low tide the boulders can 
be traced far to the north. 

How far towards north the moraine extends is diffi- 
cult to say, but I feel inclined to think that it extends 
at least as far as the 20-fathom line, about 10 miles from 
the shore. 

At Freestone Bluff at least 20 to 25 feet of thick- 
ness are exposed, but for the present it is impossible to 
state the entire thickness, which must be considerably 

We do not know the strata on which the moraine 
rests, but there is every reason to assume that it rests 
on schists of pre-cambrian age, which form the larger ■ 
portion of the North-West Coast. 

(i) See also Stephens' Notes on the Geology of the North- 
West Coast, etc. Lin. Soc.. New South Wales, 1908, Vol.. 
XXXIIL, pag. 75-'. 


The character of this boulder clay is that of the 
glacial drift, so well known in Northern Europe and 
Northern America (see PI. X. and XL). More or less, 
rounded sub-angular blocks of rocks, many of which are 
striated, are irregularly embedded in an argillaceous 
matrix. This feature is particularly well seen from 
Freestone BlufT towards the Inglis River, but on turn- 
ing round the corner of the blufif it loses its character 
as a boulder clay ; the boulders are alr^ost absent, and,. 
what is more, the clay becomes stratified, strangely con- 
trasting in appearance with its former characteristic de- 
velopment. The boulders appear agr ' i further towards 
west, and this certainly proves that the character of the 
moraine locally changes considerably. Further investi- 
gations of this point are very desirable. 

Unfortunately my time was too short to make a com- 
plete collection of the dififerent kinds of rocks occurring, 
but I noticed that crystalline rocks form far the ma- 
jority. Sedimentary rocks are very scarce ; I found a 
boulder of greyish limestone without fossils, and though 
I searched very carefully I did not find any trace of 
permian fossiliferous rocks. On this point apparently all 
observers agree ; neither Mr. Stephens, nor Mr. Kitson, 
nor myself found boulders of rocks of permian age. 
Kitson enumerates quite a number of dififerent kinds of 
rocks, and I have no doubt that if a systematic collec- 
tion is made, and the rocks correctly determined, we 
will be able with great certainty to fix the geological 
features of the country whence they came, and thus 
probably locate their origin. 

Most of these boulders are strongly striated and 
scratched. On the whole these ice-worn boulders are 
not very common, but I succeeded in finding two perfect 
specimens of considerable size. 

There is another feature connected with these 
boulders which, if I am not mistaken, was first noticed 
by Kitson. Almost all the boulders are intersected by 
a number of parallel cracks running approximately 
north-south. These cracks are indicative of a great 
lateral pressure, which did not affect the softer matrix, 
but broke the more rigid boulders (PI. XII.). It is very 
probable that these cracks or joints indicating a pres- 
sure from north are the result of the subsidence of the 
earth's surface when Bass Straits was formed. 


At several places I noticed towards the top of the 
glacial drift lenticular masses of hard cjuartzite sand- 
stone. Mr. Kitson is inclined to consider these as trans- 
ported blocks. I rather think them to be solidified 
aranaceous concretions, which were eventually sub- 
jected to the same process of pressure as the boulders 
(Plate X.). 

I am, further, not quite certain whether the apparent 
stratified condition of the moraine may not also be due 
to pressure. However that may be, it is certain that the 
moraine was subjected to an enormous pressure. 

(b) Sandstone with Fossils. 

Immediately above the moraine follows a layer of 
coarse conglomerate, which was unquestionably derived 
from working up the top part of the moraine and re- 
deposit of the more larger blocks. These boulders are 
cemented by a sandy matrix containing numerous frag- 
ments of shells, sometimes also a more complete speci- 
men. About 2 feet above this occurs a very constant 
bed of fossils about % to i foot in thickness (PI. X. and 
XL), which has been called Crassatella-bed by Mr. John- 
ston. This Crassatella-bed is rather peculiar ; though 
very constant in level and thickness, it is not separated 
by planes of bedding from either the low^er or upper 
portions of the sandstone. It looks as if the fossils had 
been more concentrated at a certain time during the 
•deposit of the sandstone than either before or after- 
wards. When we closely examine the fossils we see 
that they consist for the greater part of broken and 
rolled fragments, while complete specimens are not very 
■common. It is obvious that the Crassatella-bed forms 
an old sea beach — in fact, there is npt the slightest dif- 
ference between it and a modern beach along our 
■coasts. Mixed with the fossils, and immediately above 
the bed, there are numerous rolled small pebbles of 
whitish or yellowish quartzite, such as I have seen in 
the tin-bearing deposits on the Xorth-East Coast (i). 

Above the Crassatella-bed follows a series of about 
■80 feet of thicklv bedded sandstone, of yellowish white 

(i) This is one of the observations iiitlicrto apparently un- 


colour. This sandstone is rather calcareous, and pretty 
hard. The most common fossil is a small Curritella, 
which has been called T. Warbartonii, and from which 
ihe whole series has appropriately been called Turritella 
sandstone. The fossils, which are exactly the same as 
those occurring in the Crassatella-bed, are more sparsely 
•distributed, but now and then they occur in heaps, just 
as we find them along our shores at the present day. 

Besides these marine fossils leaves of terrestrial 
plants in particular Sapotacites oligoneuris, Etting. and 
others were found (i), but the most interesting is a 
nearly complete skeleton of the marsupial Wynyardia 
T^assiana Spencer (2). It may perhaps seem somewhat 
surprising to find the remains of terrestrial plants and 
animals in marine deposits, but a little consideration will 
show that this is not surprising" at all. In fact, it would 
~he more surprising if these remains had not been found. 
The Turritella-sandstone represents a typical deposit 
formed along the beach, where the land was not far 
away; leaves from the trees growing close by were fre- 
•quently blown into the water, and the strand was 
also frequently visited by animals (3), whose remains 
became now and then embedded in the sandstone. 

The Turritella-sandstone dips slightly towards west, 
-and the higher beds, which are inaccessible at Freestone 
Bluff, descend more and more towards the sea level the 
further we move towards west. 

I am unable to say whether a subdivision of the 
Turritella-sandstone is possible or not. If we distinguish 
the Crassatella-bed as a special palaeontological horizon, 
we must of course distinguish the strata above and 
(below it. It will perhaps be possible to establish a cer- 
tain subdivision, particularly if it could be proved that 
the terrestrial remains occur only in the upper portions, 
but a good deal of work remains still to be done before 
we can sav something definite. 

(i) Pap. and Proceed. Ro3^al Soc. Tasmania, 1886, pag. xx. 

(2) Proceed. Zoolog. Soc, London, 1900, pag. 776-795. 

(3) At the mouth of the Ringarooma River I noticed nume- 
Tous tracks of the native cat (Dasyurus viverrinus) among the 
sand dunes and along the beach, showing that this animal is in 
the habit of frequenting the sea shore. 


(c) Basalt. 

The last of the series is a cap of basalt, having a. 
thickness of about 80 feet. Mr. Johnston is of the 
opinion that this basalt is of very recent age (i). I am 
unable to say anything with regard to the relations of 
the Sandy Cove basalt and the Trachy-dolerite of Table 
Cape. Mr. Stephens thinks that the Turritella-sandstone 
was deposited against the Trachy-dolerite of Table Cape. 
This would imply that the Table Cape rock is much 
older than the Turritella-sandstone — in fact, that Table 
Cape already formed a promontory as to-day at the time 
when the Turritella-sandstone was deposited. I do not 
agree with Mr. Stephens on this point, because if this 
were so the beds ought to dip away from Table Cape, 
but not towards it; besides, I think that the Turritella 
sandstone is somewhat altered nearing Table Cape. I 
think that there is not much reason to assume that the 
Sandy Cove basalt and that of Table Cape are of such 
widely different age as they would be if Mr. Stephens' 
view were correct. 

The actual observations of the strata as exposed near 
Wynyard can therefore be summarised as follows : — 

" There exists a fairly thick glacial drift unconform- 
ably overlaid by an arenaceous littoral formation with 
fossils capped by basalt." 

The cjuestion now arises, what is the age of these 
deposits ? Before discussing this problem, I wish to 
mention another observation I made, which, though of 
the greatest importance, has apparently never been 
• noticed by previous ob&ervers. When I examined the 
top part of the glacial drift, with a view to ascertain the 
relations between it and the Turritella-sandstone, I 
noticed small lenticular layers of fossiliferous sandstone, 
each showing the small quartz pebbles embedded in the 
boulder clay, and later on I found rather a long layer 
of this sand (PI. XL and XII.). There is no question 
that these fossiliferous layers, undistinguishable from 
the standstone above, were embedded in the moraine, 
but the problem is to decide whether they are 
moraine, but the problem is to decide whether they are 
primary deposits contemporaneous with the moraine or 

(i) Geology of Tasmania, pag. 259. 


secondary infiltrations so to speak, which were formed 
long after the deposit of the moraine. It will be seen 
that it is of the utmost importance with regard to the 
age of the moraine as well as the Turitella-sandstone to 
decide this question one way or another. 


Montgomery, Waller, and Kitson believe that the 
glacial drift belongs to the palaeozoic area, and forms 
part of the permo-carboniferous, or, as we would say, 
permian formation, whose lowest or basal bed it repre- 

Above the palaeozoic moraine rests a fossiliferous 
sandstone supposed to be of eocene age (i). I have 
never been able to find out on what palaeontological 
proofs the view of the eocene age of the Turritella-sand- 
stone has been based. If the list of fossils described 
from this formation is carefully studied (2), it will be 
seen that practically all species are new. Not one of 
them could be identified with species from true eocene 
rocks either in Asia or Europe. Further, that charac- 
teristic fossil of the eocene, the genus nummulites, is 
entirely absent, though in Europe it occurs under the 
same latitude in large numbers. I rather feel inclined 
to think that the proofs for the eocene age are negative, 
and not positive. In the older geological manuals we 
find Sir Charles Lyell's rather fetching percentage 
theory being accepted as an absolute certain guide for 
the subdivision of the tertiary formation. This theory 
assumes that the percentage of living forms decreases 
in descending order; that is to say, there are a smaller 
number of living species in the Miocene than in the 
Pliocene ; and, again, they are far less in the Pliocene 
than in the Miocene ; and the smallest number of all 
occur in the Eocene. More modern investigations have, 
however, proved that the percentage theory must be 

(i) I may state here that Prof. M'Coy was originally of the 
opinion that these beds are of Miocene age. (See Johnston 
Geology of Tasmania.) 

(2) Reference List of the Tertiary Fossils of Tasmania. Pap. 
and Proceed. Royal Soc. of Tasmania, 1886, pag. 124 ft. (See 
also Johnston Geology of Tasmania.) 


used with the greatest discretion only, and unless sup- 
ported by other evidence it is at times completely mis- 

This certainly applies to the fauna from the Wynyard 
sandstone. There is not the slightest reason to assume 
that it would be of Eocene age because none of the 
species could be identified with specimens living nowa- 
days. The fauna of Bass Strait is a very modern one; 
it can have only migrated to its present habitat after the 
formation of Bass Strait, and it is a priori very probable 
that it has very little in common with the much older 
fauna from the Turritella-sandstone. 

But let us assume for the sake of argument that the 
Turritella-sandstone is of Eocene age. The inclusions 
of fossiliferous sand in the upper part of the moraine 
seem to indicate a close connection between the glacial 
drift and the overlying fossiliferous sandstone. This 
being so, we have established the existence of a Tertiary, 
that is to say Eocene glacial period. Now, however, dif- 
ferent the opinions of geologists may be, there is not 
one dissenting voice with regard to the climate of the 
tertiary period. They all agree that the Tertiary was a 
period of warmth, but not of cold. The establishment 
of a tertiary glacial period in Australasia would be so 
much in opposition to all accepted views that it required 
much better and stronger proofs than we have now 
before we could accept this theory. 

Now, let us presume that the moraine is of palaeo- 
zoic — that is to say, of Permian age. In that case, the 
fauna of the Turritella-zone would also be of permian 
age, a theory whose absurdity must even strike a 
beginner in palaeontology. Whatever the age of the 
Turritella-sandstone may be, its fauna is of such a 
modern habitus that anything else but a tertiary or post 
tertiary age is out of c]uestion. 

It is therefore certain that neither the eocene age 
of the Turritella-sandstone nor the palaeozoic age of the 
glacial drift satisfactorily accounts for the intimate rela- 
tionship between the two as indicated by the fossiliferous 
inlayers. This could only be explained if we were to 
assume that the moraine is of diluvial age, or, as it is 
generally called out here, pleistocene age. 


The pleistocene glacier deposited its debris in a sea, 
which became later on inhabited with the Turritella 
fauna. Graduall}'- the sea encroached on the land, the 
upper parts of the moraine were worked up and re- 
deposited as a conglomerate bed, while small inlayers 
of fossiliferous sand became mixed up with the upper 
parts of the moraine. 

The Turritella-sandstone would therefore be of post 
glacial age, and the basalt would be younger still. 

As far as I can see there could be two objections to 
this theory, viz., the cracks in the boulders and the sup- 
position that the inlayers of fossiliferous sand are 
secondary infiltrations. 

I have shown above that almost all the boulders are 
intersected by a series of parallel fissures. If sandstone 
and moraine belonged together, one would assume that 
the cracks continued into the sandstone, and that the 
larger fossils were broken in a way similar to the 
boulders. If my memory does not deceive me, I never 
noticed such a feature, though I must confess I did not 
pay much attention to it at the time. However that may 
be, even if the cracks did not extend to the Turritella 
sandstone, we might assume that the subsidence of land 
which caused the pressure also opened an inroad for the 
sea, in which the younger Turritella sandstone was de- 
posited. Though the boulders in the older moraine 
were therefore broken, the same pressure did not affect 
the younger Turritella-sandstone. 

The other objection is the more serious of the two. 
In order to make it fully understood, we will accept for 
the moment the old theory that the moraine forms the 
base of the permian rocks, and that the Turritella-sand- 
stone is of tertiary (eocene) age. We would then have 
one of the most stupendous discordances known in the 
history of the earth. The whole of the mesozoic forma- 
tion, viz., triassic, Jurassic, and cretaceous periods, even 
a part of the younger palaeozoic (middle and upper 
permian) would be missing. 

I do not wish to enter into the discussion whether 
the strata representing these periods were always miss- 
ing or have been removed by subsequent denudation. 
All I wish to poifit out, that if the views hitherto held 


regarding the age of the strata at Freestone Bhiff 
(Sandy Cove) be correct we have Eocene resting imme- 
•diately on the basal bed of the Permian. 

Now, all throughout Tasmania the permian forma- 
tion above the basal glacial drift is represented by a 
.series of great thickness, consisting of mudstones, lime- 
stones, and coal measures, the latter being followed by 
\hos€ of younger, probably mesozoic age. Now, we 
ynust either assume that not a foot of this great thick- 
ness of strata had been deposited near Wynyard, or 
that they all were removed by subsequent denudation. 

It is impossible to assume that they were not de- 
posited near Wynyard, because if the glacial drift, i.e., 
the basal moraine, had formed the surface of the earth 
ever since the early Permian, it w^ould probably be disin- 
tegrated to such an extent that it would be hardly recog- 
nisable. We cannot measure yet the absolute time that 
lapsed between the beginning of the permian and that 
of the tertiary epoch, but whatever it may have been it 
must represent an immense period. Is it imaginable 
that during this almost immeasurable time the boulder 
bed forming the surface all the while became so little 
disintegrated that it remained as fresh as it appears to- 
day? I think not, and we must therefore assume that 
the younger strata, mostly of permian age, were re- 
moved by denudation. This at once raises another diffi- 
culty — why was the denudation so energetic just near 
Wynyard that it removed practically all traces of the 
permian beds, and why was it not so eneregtic in other 
parts of Tasmania? 

Presuming this strange phenomenon did take place ; 
the younger strata disappeared and the surface of the 
glacial drift was laid bare ; about that time a great sub- 
sidence of land took place to the north of Wynyard ; the 
pressure thus created broke the boulders and opened 
fissures in the moraine which became subsequently filled 
up with fossiliferous sand from above. There is no 
doubt that this theory is a very fetching one, and it 
would be possible to reconcile the palaeozoic age of the 
moraine with the kainozoic age of the Turritella-sand- 
stone. There is, however, one drawback ; so far I have 
not seen a single instance where cracks of the kind re- 
<juired were connected with the Turritella-sandstone. 

Roy. Soc. Tasm., 1909. 

Pl. IX. 


PL. X. 

, mass of sandstone in the moraine, overlaid by the crassatelda 


Roy. Soc. Tasm , 1909- 





Roy. Soc. Tasm., 1909. 

Pl. XII. 



These cracks should be vertical, or at least nearly so, 
such as shown in the boulders. Thoug"h I searched 
hard, I could not find a single instance. The fossiliferous 
inlayers in the moraine were all more or less horizontal 
and disconnected with the Turritella-sandstone. Further 
examinations would be required to prove conclusively 
that the fossiliferous inlayers are later infiltration, and 
not contemporaneous with the moraine. For the present 
the evidence goes more in favour of the latter than of 
the former view. 

The strongest point in favour of a palaeozoic age of 
the moraine is the seemingly entire absence of boulders 
•of younger than permian age. We know for certain that 
the moraine must be of post silurian age, because boul- 
ders containing silurian fossils have been discovered in 
it. The absence of permian boulders does, however, not 
necessarily mean that it must be of pre-permian age, 
though it is, T admit, a very strong point in favour of 
this view. AVe know, however, so little about the boul- 
ders contained in the moraine, that we cannot say with 
■certainty that they do occur ; and, further, if they do not 
occur, we have always to consider the probabilitv that 
the glacial debris was derived from places where there 
were no permian strata. 

At present the case stands therefore like this : Unless 
it be conclusively and without the slightest doubt proved 
that the fossiliferous inlayers in the glacial drift are sub- 
sequent infiltrations, we must assume that the moraine 
•and the Turritella-sandstone belong to one and the same 
epoch. As no sane geologist would consider the fauna 
of the Turritella-bed to be of palaeozoic age, and as the 
assumption of an eocene glacial period would be con- 
trary to all experience, we must assume that both the 
moraine and the Turritella-sandstone are of diluvial 
^(pleistocene) and post diluvial age. 



By T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S. 

(Read November 8, 1909.) 

The great basaltic sheet, onoe continuous from Alac- 
quarie Plains to Glenora, ends somewhat abruptly on. 
the Northern slope of the valley of the River Styx. 
Whether it originally extended farther is uncertain, but 
the probability is that its advance was barred by thick- 
bedded tertiary sands and clays corresponding to those 
exposed in the bed of the Derwent near Macquarie 
Plains, and covered in pre-basaltic times by a great ac- 
cumulation of drift gravels, the greater part of the whole 
formation being' subsequently removed by denudation. 
Half a mile from the Glenora station the new line passes 
through solid basalt, the continuity of which is broken 
by an .irregular band, the determination of the character 
of which will require a more careful examination than 
is practicable on a flying visit. It is loosely compacted, 
and some of it has the appearance of volcanic tuff. But 
the interesting feature is that, scattered through the 
formation are crystalline patches of opal varying in 
colour from pure white to dark brown. There are a'lso 
faint but unmistakable traces of fossil wood. It was 
from this same sheet of basalt that the fossil tree was 
unearthed near Macquarie Plains, which was described' 
by Sir Joseph Hooker some seventy years ago, and is 
now a conspicuous object in the Natural History branch 
of the British Museum. It has been identified by Mr. 
Newell Arber as a species of Cupressinoxylon*. 

*Cupressinoxylon Hookeri. sp. nov., a silicified tree from, 
Tasmania. By E. A. Newell Arber, M.A., F.L.S., F.G.S. Geo- 
logical Magazine, January, 1904. 



The origin of the specimens of agate, carnelian. and 
various forms of chalcedony, which are often found in 
gravels of the Derwent basin, or ploughed up in 
basaltic soils, has always been something of a mystery,. 
but the occurrence of these opals in situ points to our 
Tertiary basalt as one of the sources from which they 
have been derived. 

The basaltic country which has been described abuts 
against a rather lofty rise of deep bedded gravels with 
quartzite boulders up to about eight or ten inches in 
diameter. The summit of the hill is, by aneroid, about 
440 feet above sea level. These gravel beds show no. 
sign of local glaciation, but may be moraine matter 
brought down by post-glacial erosion. Before any de- 
finite conclusion can be formed respecting the history 
of these gravels and boulders, it will be necessary to 
investigate the history of similar deposits in other parts 
of the Derwent basin. On the slopes of the eroded 
sandstones between Glenora and Hamilton, some 200 
feet above the present river level, are lines of travelled 
shingle and waterworn boulders, and a similar deposit 
lies high up on the ridge between Hamilton and Upper 
Broadmarsh. These may be regarded as the remains 
of terraces on the margin of ancient lakes long since 
drained by erosion of the river bed. But it is to be 
noted that none of these deposits are of local origin. 
All the material consists of quartzites, schists, and in- 
durated sandstones, which have come from the far dis- 
tant Western country, and their distribution is sugges- 
tive of some form of glacial transport. 

Approaching- Fenton Forest the hne passes through 
a small rise of sand and fine gravel. On the right are 
the hop grounds and paddocks occupying what was the 
bed of one of the numerous lakes of the Derwent Valley 
before the river cut its way through the barrier of basalt 
near Macquarie Plains. So far there was. no formidable 
obstacle to the construction of the railway; but from 
near the Forest gate the cuttings for a distance of nearly 
two miles are through massive diabase of an unsually 
refractory character. At two and a half miles from 
Glenora was the maximum difficulty of the whole line. 
The diabase of Eastern Tasmania is notoriously one of 
the hardest and toughest of rocks, but here there was 



not only the difficulty of getting in the drills deep 
enough for effective blasting, but the rock is so unusu- 
ally hard and splintery that there was no avoidance of 
serious damage to face and hands in the subsequent 
breaking up with the hammer. The depth of the cutting 
at this point is about 14 feet. The diabase is rudely 
•columnar, and resting upon it is a band of altered sand- 
stone (Plate XIII. ), the section showing more conclusive 
evidence of the presence of an intrusive sill than I have 
seen elsewhere inland, though similar sections are com- 
mon enough on the shores of Tasman's Peninsula, Bruni 
Island, and the Channel. Towards the western end of 
this cutting the sandstone is much dislocated bv the 
lifting agency of the intrusive rock. About half a mile 
farther on is a long cutting through altered mudstone, 
the diabase onh' showing here and there. The general 
dip is about E.S.E., and in this direction it will pass 
under a neighbouring lofty hill of sandstone, which is 
normally the next member in the ascending series. The 
differences in level and the changes in the direction of 
dip of the sedimentary rocks along the whole route show 
that they have been much disturbed and faulted bv the 
intrusive diabase, which everywhere underlies them at a 
greater or less depth in the form of sills or laccolites. 

At 334 miles, at a sharp bend in the Russell Falls 
River, is a fine section showing columnar diabase un- 
derlying altered and much jointed mudstone. 

The diabase shows itself here and there for the next 
mile, but is mostly hidden by sand and gravel, and the 
waste of the mudstone which is the bed rock of this 
part of the district. At S/4 niiles a cutting was taken 
through mudstone of normal character, but with a 
change of dip to S.W. The next cutting is through 
mudstone at first in regular bedding, but towards the 
Western end large loo&e angular blocks of the same rock 
were met with, together with rounded boulders of 
•quartzite and other ancient rocks, and occasionally of 
diabase. One weathered block of the last named 
measured 3 feet by 2 feet, with a thickness of about 7 
inches. The next cutting is through soft sandstone 
lying conformably to the mudstone. This is the last 
appearance of the sedimentary rocks, and the terminus 
■of the line stands on sandy clays and gravel thinly 
covering massive diabase. 



Tlie character of the country from this point may 
be briefly described. To the West and South-West are 
lofty ridges of diabase, which is continuous for about 
three miles on both sides of the gorge occupied by 
Russell Falls River. The first change is shown in out- 
crops of thick bedded mudstone and sandstone, and 
these are succeeded by Permo-Carboniferous marine 
beds brought into view by strong faults. The same- 
broken and faulted country continues up to the head of 
the valley, where these marine beds crop out on the 
Southern flanks of Mt. Field at an elevation of over 
2,000 feet. To the east at a lower level are great bands, 
of Ordovician limestone with a northerly strike, and to 
the west are rugged ridges of quartzite and conglome- 
rate, with bands of limestone, and traces of the Cam- 
brian sandstone which I have elsewhere mentioned as 
occurring at the head of the Florentine Valley. The 
discussion of the mutual relations of these rocks is, how- 
ever, outside the limits of this paper. It may, however, 
be noted that, as was pointed out in a paper read before- 
this Society in 1896,* that the valley of the Russell Falls 
River is the first stage of the only practicable route for 
communication by road or railway Ijetween Hobart and' 
the West Coast, whether it be in the near or the far 
distant future. 

In concluding these somewhat fragmentary notes, it 
only remains to consider whether this district supplies 
any proof of g'laciation in past ages, and it must be ad- 
mitted that the evidence is not very clear. The typical 
mudstone, which is one of the most widely distributed 
of South-Eastern sediments, is an upper member of the 
Permo-Carboniferous marine series. It is noticeable for 
the number of erratics of large size that are contained in 
it, and is almost certainly of glacial origin. The stupen- 
dous intrusion of diabase, which now caps all the moun- 
tains and most of the hills of Eastern Tasmania, is 
mostly stripped of its original covering of sediments, 
the remnants of which are seen in isolated patches, or- 
abutting against the flanks of the mountains, where 
they have been protected from erosion by accumula- 
tions of talus. It is hard to conceive anv agencv but 

*Land routes for exploration of the Western Country. By 
T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S. Read loth August. 1896. 



that of an ice sheet which could affect such extensive 
denudation. Its occurrence would probably be towards 
the close of that Mesozoic period of which we have so 
little accurate knowledge, and there seems to be no 
•other way of accounting for the rounded character of all 
the lower diabase-capped hills, resembling gigantic 
roches m.outonnees. It has been established that there 
was a further glaciation in the Western Country in Ter- 
tiar}' or post-Tertiary times, and, assuming that similar 
conditions prevailed on the Southern mountain ranges, 
-one might safely conclude that the main features of this 
•district were roughly shaped b}^ moraine-bearing gla- 
ciers descending from the Mt. Field range, the existing 
■configuration of the country being due to post-glacial 
erosion under high pluvial conditions. So far there is 
little positive evidence in support of this theory beyond 
the presence of a few erratics, and the steep slightly 
terraced slopes of the Permo-Carboniferous beds where 
they bound the valleys, a contour widely different from 
that of rocks eroded by running water. In such a dis- 
trict as this it is futile to expect to find the evidence of 
polished rock surfaces, or striated pebbles and boulders, 
for none of the rocks over v/hich the glacier would pass 
are hard enough to offer any resistance with the sole 
exception of the diabase, and that would be broken up 
.-rather than smoothed. 

Roy. Soc. Tasm., 1909. 








T. Thomson Flynn, B.Sc. 
Lecturer in Biology, University of Tasmania. 

(Read November 8, 1909.) 




It is unnecessary, I think, to commence a series of 
papers on the Anatomy of the Megapodes by an 
apology. That such a Series should seem to be neces- 
sary is, perhaps, to be wondered at. the more so when 
the special nature of this remarkable group of birds is 
considered. Some work has indeed been done, but in 
general it has been directed to special features to be 
used for taxonomic purposes. Such notes are, there- 
fore, scattered about in numerous papers on the 
anatomy of birds, a good many of which, here in Tas- 
mania, are Cjuite unavailable to me. When we consider 
that even in the matter of the pterylosis of the group 
probably the only complete account of any member is 
contained in two papers — one b}- Garrod, on the ana- 
tomy of " Megacephalon maleo," the other by Pycraft, 
on the pterylosis of '* Megapodius pritchardi," we get 
some idea of the necessity of a systematic investigation 
of the group. 

My material consists of a number of specimens of 
two genera, " Catheturus lathami " (the " Scrub- 
Turkey "') and " Lipoa ocellata " (the " Mallee Fowl "). 

In the case of the latter I have not as much material 
as could be desired, but any new facts noted with the 
arrival of further specimens will be embodied in later 
papers. In addition, I have a chick (12 days hatched) 
of " Megapodius eremita," on the pterylosis of which I 
make some notes, but which I have not dissected. 

I have to tender my sincerest thanks to Prof. W. A. 
Haswell, of Sydney, without whose kindly advice and 
assistance in obtaining literature this work could not 
have been undertaken. 

The specimens were all obtained through the assist- 
ance of the fund of the John Coutts Scholarship, of 
Sydney University, of which for one year I was the 
bolder. A single exception is the young specimen of 
*' Megapodius eremita," obtained through the help of F. 
Young, Esq., of the s.s. " Upolu," who brought it from 
the Solomon Islands, preserved in diluted gin. I am 
deeply indebted to him for the opportunity of examining 
this valualile specimen. 



The feather arrangement of the group seems, singu- 
larly enough, to have been almost neglected, the only 
papers available to me on the subject being those of 
Nitszch (Proc. Ray Soc, 1867), containing a brief ac- 
count of the pterylosis of " Mcga.podius rubripes " ; 
Garrod (Proc. Zool. Soc, 1878, pp. 629-631) on the 
anatomy of " Megacephalon maleo," and Pycraft (Wil- 
ley's Zool. Res., Pt. IV., 1900, pp. 483-491) being " A 
Contribution towards our Knowledge of the Pterylo- 
graphy of the ' Megapodii ' "). 

In his remarks on the pterylosis of " Megapodius 
rubripes," Nitzsch stated that it was typically gallin- 
aceous in character, and that the oil gland was tufted. 
Garrod, however, found that in " Megacephalon maleo " 
the oil gland was nude, and that the rest of the feather 
arrangement differed in some respects from the typical 
galline character. Pycraft deals in an extended manner 
with the pterylography of " Megapodius pritchardi " and 
of a nestling of " Megapodius eremita." In his paper 
he raises a number of points of interest. Unfortunately, 
this paper has only recently come into my hands, and 
since the plumage of my 12 days' old chick of " M. 
eremita " is worthy of detailed study in connection with 
several points emphasised by Pycraft, I have decided to 
withhold all remarks upon it till later. 

In " Catheturus lathami " the head is almost bare, 
the feathers of this region being scanty, reduced, and 
bristle-like. In the supra-orbital region, however, and 
anterior to this region, the feathers are slightly longer, 
being about half an inch in length. The anterior part 
of the neck is occupied by the large " wattle," which is 
sparsely covered by a number of bristle-like feathers, 
which, on the posterior side, take more the character of 
contour feathers. 

" Lipoa " differs greatly from " Catheturus " in this 
region. The head is comparatively thickly covered with 
well developed feathers, which are raised above into a 
distinct crest. Anterior to the eyes, and extending back- 
wards below and behind them to surround the auditory 



aperture, is a paired wliite space, bare except for a few 
bristles (absent in " Catheturus "), which surround this 
aperture in a double row. 

In the posterior neck region, in " Catheturus," the 
lateral neck spaces are broad and well defined. The 
ventral tract begins in this region, and as it passes back- 
wards divides into two strongly-marked pectoral bands, 
which diverge some distance in front of the sternum, 
and are carried down on each side towards the thigh, 
just anterior to which (about the mid length of the 
sternum) they suddenly cease. The rest of the ventral 
tract is wholly separated from the pectoral bands by 
well-marked spaces. This other part commences just 
anterior to the manubrium sterni, and immediately 
divides, the two tracts running backwards and only 
meeting just anterior to the anus. The two tracts diverge 
greatly in the abdominal region before meeting. 

The arrangement in " Lipoa " is almost exactly 
similar to the above, there being the two strong pectoral 
tracts which are separated from the ventral tract proper, 
the latter becoming divided into two tracts, which meet 
in this case some. distance anterior to the anus, forming 
a diffused tract ou the abdomen. 

The dorsal tract in " Catheturus " is bounded later- 
ally on the neck region by the two large neck spaces. It 
is continued caudad as far as a point lying shortly behind 
the shoulder joint, where it abruptly ends in fairly long 
and strong feathers. When the tract begins again, it 
becomes diffused over the entire pelvic region as a 
broad area, so wide as to be fused with the femoral 
tracts on either side. The oil gland is nude. 

In " Lipoa," the arrangement of the dorsal tract is 
similar. There is a large space, as in " Catheturus." con- 
necting the lateral spaces of the trunk. The oil gland 
here again is nude. 

The humeral and femoral tracts are well developed 
in each of the two genera, the latter being fused with 
the posterior expanded portion of the dorsal tract. 

The distribution of the feathers on the wings agrees 
in both of the specimens examined. The number of 
reniiges is; — Metacarpals, 10; cubitals, 15. In eagh the 


first cubital is equally W'Cll developed with the rest, 
though not quite so long. The cubitals are graduated, 
the eighth being the longest. Both genera are quin- 
cubital, markedly differing in this respect from " M. 
pritchardi " and " M. eremita." 

The dorsal major tectrices of the primaries are well 
developed, but not so long as the cubitals, these latter 
being graduated, the first (in " Catheturus ") being in 
length 5^ inches, the seventh (the longest) measuring 
6j/4 inches. 

The dorsal tectrices mediae of the secondaries are 
fairly large, and are graduated, there being no sudclen 
differences in length between adjacent feathers. Those 
of the primaries are feeble, and on the manus they are 
almost deficient. 

The dorsal tectrices minores do not call for special 

On the ventral side the tectrices majores are well 
developed, the tectrices mediae are absent, and the 
minores are scattered and feeble. 

The rectrices number 16 in each of the two genera. 

Iji a number of specimens of " Catheturus " there is 
present in the mid-ventral apterium a patch of specially 
thickened skin. It is roughly rhomboidal in shape, with 
its long axis (about two inches) extending along the 
carina sterni posteriorly. Its short axis measures about 
^in., and the skin covering it, though specially 
thickened, is not at all scaly. 


All the genera of the Megapodidae so far described 
resemble the typical gallinae in a number of points in 
their feather arrangement, but most especially in the 
fact that the two parts of the ventral tract unite before 
reaching the anus. They, however, agree with one an- 
other, and differ from the typical gallinae in the posses- 
sion of the interrupted ventral tract, the presence of the 
large dorsal interscapular space and the fusion of the 


lumbar with the dorsal tract. It seems possible that the 
Megapodidae are capable of being divided into two 
groups. The first of these have the oil gland tufted, and 
are aquincubital. This group would probably be found to 
include all the species belonging to the genus " Mega- 
podius," but at any rate includes " M. eremita " and 
" M. pritchardi." The second group would include those 
genera with a nude oil gland and quincubital wing, 
comprising the genera " Catheturus," " Lipoa," and 
probably " Megacephalon," although we have no evi- 
dence yet, in the case of this genus, as to the wing being 
diastataxial or otherwise. 



Myologicall}^, I have as yet examined only two 
genera of the Megapodidae — " Catheturus " and 
" Lipoa." These two genera agree almost exactly in 
the arrangeme.nt and distribution of the muscles, such 
differences as are noticeable being in the main due ta 
the disparity in the length of the hind limb. That ot 
the Mallee Hen is much shorter than the Brush Turkey, 
being only three-quarters the length. In both cases the 
enormous strength of the leg muscles is very noticeable, 
particularly as regards the muscles of the thigh. The 
size of these muscles is much greater than in Gallus. 
The great size of the posterior thigh muscles in these 
birds results in the drawing out of the post-acetabular 
portion of the sacral region. The acetabulum, therefore, 
which lies about half-way between the two ends of the 
pelvis in Gallus, comes to about one-third of the distance 
from the anterior end. The enormous thickness of the 
thigh muscles, anterior as well as posterior, results in 
the deep hollowing out of the sides of the pelvis ex- 
ternal to the ilio-ischiatic crest. 

The thigh contains the usual muscles of the Galli- 
naceous birds, the tensor fasciae, the semitendinosus 
and accessory semitendinosus, the femoro-caudal and 
its accessory, and the ambiens. Certain points, some 
of which may be characteristic, are worthy of note in 
connection with these muscles. The gluteal muscles 
are well developed, and are four in number — primus 
(tensor fasciae), medius, minimus, and quartus — the 
latter being a short, chunky little muscle having its 
origin at the posterior outer margin of the ilium for a 
short distance, and passing backwards, slightly down- 
wards and outwards, to be inserted into the outer side 
of femur just below the trochanter and slightly below 
and anterior to the insertion of the gluteus medius. 

The semitendinosus and its accessory are surpris- 
ingly well developed, the latter being nearly as long as 
broad (one and a half by one and a quarter inches). The 
arrangement of the femoro-caudal muscle is interesting 
in these genera. According to Garrod (P.Z.S., 1873, pp. 
626-644) in most birds " it . arises from the (anterior) 


transverse processes of the two last coccygeal vertebrae, 
and is inserted into the linea aspera of the femur at 
about one-third of its length from the trochanter." In 
ni}^ specimens I have found the insertion exactly as 
stated by Garrod, but when the muscle is traced out 
towards the tail the arrangement is found to differ re- 
markably from that laid down by him. The muscle on 
each side is found to spread out into a thin aponeurotic 
sheet, the two uniting and covering the lower side of 
the muscles of that region. The shape of this muscle, 
remarkably enough, varies in the two genera. In the 
Brush Turkey it is long and ribbon-like, while in 
" Lipoa " it is much expanded and thin, so that its 
centre part comes to be leaflike. This latter condition 
in " Lipoa " may, however, be due to the pressure of 
overlying muscles in preservation. The accessory head, 
however, agrees in both genera in being large and fan- 
shaped, rising along a fairly extensive line posterior to 
the ischiatic foramen, covering in this position the lower 
half of the hollow, which lies external to the ilio-ischi- 
atic crest. Centrally this muscle is thinned, consisting 
only of an aponeurosis, through which can be seen the 
tendon of M. obturator externus. 

The arrangement of the semimembranosus is inte- 
resting in these birds. In " Gallus " this muscle rises 
from the outer edge of the ischium, but its origin does 
not extend so far back as to completely cover the ischio- 
pubic foramen. In " Catheturus " and " Lipoa," how- 
ever, this foramen is coinpletely covered, so that with 
the lengthening of the origin the muscle comes to be 
fan-shaped. In company with the semitendinosus, it 
forms the posterior contour of the thigh. 

M. ambiens has much the usual insertion, bending 
round the knee over the patella, to become merged with 
the head of M. perforatus digiti iii., but its origin is 
worthy of comment. It is not, as usual in birds, a thin, 
spindle-shaped muscle ; but owing to the fact that it 
arises from both the pectineal process, and some small 
portion of the bone behind it, it comes to be triangular. 

The muscle representing the pyramidalis, called by 
Gadow the ilio-femoralis externus, and by Owen and 
Selenka, the glutaeus externus, is also present in the 



Megapodes, as in " Gallus," but is more powerfully 
developed in the former. It is a well developed, trian- 
g-ular muscle, rising fleshy along" the posterior third of 
the preacetabular crest and from the hollow below this, 
then passing directly over the head of the femur, rapidly 
narrows to a pointed tendon, which is inserted into the 
outer side of femur just below the trochanter above the 
insertion of gluteus minimus. 

The obturator muscles (internal and external) show 
nothing of special interest except that the area of prigin 
of the latter is triangular. 

In the shank muscles, a special feature is the strong 
ossification in some of the tendons, so complete that 
often they may easily be broken in two with a sharp 
blow. In the presence of this ossification almost all the 
shank muscles are alike, but it is more particularly con- 
fined to the peroneous longus, the tibialis anticus and 
the soleus. 

M. extensor digitorum communis in the Megapodes 
rises from the hollow between the pro and ecto-cneminal 
crests of the tibia, partly also from the outer side of the 
latter and from the upper third of the anterior face of 
the bone. It passes, as usual, under the bony and liga- 
mentous bridges at the proximal end of the tarso- 
metatarsus. About two-thirds the distance down this 
latter bone it bifurcates, forming an outer and inner slip. 

The latter passes to the base of the second digit, 
where it again divides into an outer slip (A) and an inner 
(B). (A) is ribbon-like, and divides into two, one of 
which forms the fibrous bridge of slip (B), the other the 
fibrous bridge at the base of digit iii. 

wSlip (B) divides also into two, the outer of which 
crosses over the inner to become inserted into the base 
of the second phalanx. The other division of slip (B) 
passes along the outer side of the second digit to be in- 
serted into the base of the ungual phalanx. The rest of 
the tendon of M. extensor digitorum communis is dis- 
tributed in the usual manner, dividing at the base of each 
phalanx into two, one of which is inserted into the base 
of each phalanx, the other continued onwards to the 
base of the next. 

1 84 


The extensor brevis digitorum of Owen is present in 
these birds underlying the last-named muscle. It runs 
along the sulcus in front of the tarso-metatarsus, and is 
attached to that bone for the main part of its extent. 
Just vmderneath the point where the extensor communis 
digitorum first bifurcates, the present muscle is con- 
verted into a tendinous expansion, which is hardly dif- 
ferentiated into tendons, but of which separate parts are 
inserted into the bases of the proximal phalanges of 
digits ii., iii., and iv. From the side of the body of the 
muscle, and about half-way down the tarso-metatarsus, 
a small portion takes its origin, which passes to the 
hallux, and is inserted into the base of the movable 
metatarsus of that digit. 

M. abductor digiti iv. is a small muscle rising exter- 
nally to the origin of m. perforatus hallucis (vide infra) 
at the proximal end of the tarsus. It passes down the 
postero-internal aspect of the bone, being attached to it 
for some considerable part of its extent. About two- 
thirds down this bone it develops a tendon, which passes 
externally to the joint between the foot and the meta- 
tarsus, to be inserted into the outer side of the base of 
the proximal phalanx of the fourth digit. 

There is a strong vinculum joining the deep flexor of 
the foot with the flexor longus hallucis, as found by 
Garrod to be the case in the Gallinae in general. In 
addition, there is another, not nearly so evident a vin- 
clum, joining M. flexor perforatus digiti iii. to J\I. per- 
foratus et perforans digiti iii. 

This latter vinculum occurs just behind the joint 
between the metatarsus and the pes. It merely joins 
together the two tendons in that position. 

M. perforatus hallucis is present, rising by two fleshy 
heads, the larger from the hollow lying on the inner 
side of the hypotarsus, the lesser from a similar but 
smaller concavity on the outer side. In this position, 
the tendon of the deep flexor overlies it, and passes 
down in a grove between the partially distinct bellies of 
the muscle. The lesser head develops a tendon much 
in advance of the larger, the two running then side by 
side until they fuse. The compound tendon is attached 


to the base of the first phalanx of the hallux, but is per- 
forated in this position by the tendon of M. flexor longus 

The method b}' which the two muscles M. flexor 
perforans digiti iv. and M. flexor perforatus digiti iv., are 
made to act on five phalanges is interesting in these 
birds. The arrangement in M. flexor perforans is simple. 
It perforates the tendon of M. flexor perforatus, and 
passes to the ungual phalanx, being inserted into it in 
two places, at the base of the terminal phalanx, and 
also a little in advance of this, just at the base of the 
nail. It gives off also small slips to the penultimate 
and ante-penultimate phalanges of this digit. 

The perforated flexor, of course, becomes divided 
into two parts — an inner and an outer. The inner of 
these passes to be in&erted into the base of the fourth 
phalanx, giving off atso a slip to the third. The outer 
slip divides almost immediately into two, of which one 
becomes inserted into the base of the third phalanx, 
while the other divides again into two, one part being 
inserted into the base of the first phalanx, the other into 
the base of the second. 

M. adductor digiti iv. About this muscle Gadow 
(Bronn's Thier-reichs, Aves, p. 204-5), says : — " Diesen 
Muskel, der nicht in der Literatur erwahnt ist habe ich 
nur bei sehr wenigen Vogeln gefunden : Bei Rhea 
(nicht bei den ubrigen Ratiten gesehen) entspringt er 
als ein sehr dunner Muskel fibular neben dem M. ab- 
ductor dig. ii. und ist theilweise mit dem ihn lateral 
begrenzenden M. abductor dig. iv. verwachsen. Seine 
Sehne geht durch das Spatium intertarsale externum zur 
Tibialseite der Basis phal. i. und adducirt die Aussen- 
zelie neben geringer Plantarflexion. Bei Bucorvus ent- 
sprang er von distalen Ende der Tarsus : bei Rhampas- 
tus war er noch kurzer und nutzlos." 

In the Megapodes, it arises from the upper part of 
the anterior aspect of the tarso-metartarse, and from 
part of that bone as well as from the side of the extensor 
brevis digitorum. It is a thin spindle-shaped muscle, 
which develops a thin rounded tendon passing down- 


wards in a canal between the metatarsals of digit iii. and 
iv. to he fixed on the inner side of the base of the 
proximal phalanx of digit iv. 

M. adductor digiti ii. is present as a small muscle 
rising from an area of the distal end of the tarsus, and 
underlying all the tendons of the deep flexors. It ends 
in a tendon which is inserted into the infero-lateral 
base of the proximal phalanx of the second digit. 

1 ■ T '^- -1 

qinm. J ,aed 



abd tt'^ ' 



FIGURE ■ I. — " Catheturus lathami," dissection of 
muscles of thigh. 

The overlying gluteus primus has been removed ex- 
cept the distal portion (t.f.). The biceps and semi- 
tendinous have only their proximal and distal portions 
left. All the gluteus medius has been removed except 
its tendon. 

ace. semit accessory semitendinosus 

add. long adductor longus 

a.f.c accessory femoro-caudal 

bic biceps flexor cruris 

f.c femoro-caudal 

fern. . . . head of femur 

gl. min gluteus minimus 

gl. med gluteus medius 

gl. 4 gluteus quartus 

pyr pyramidalis 

semim semimembranosus 

semit semitendinosus 

t.f tensor fasciae 

v.e vastus externus 

FIGURE 2. — " Catheturus lathami," back view of the 

h hypotarsus 

abd. dig. iv. . . .' abductor digiti iv. 

add. dig. i adductor digiti i. 

ten. add. dig. iv tendon of m. adductor digiti iv. 

dig. i. . . cavity left after removal of metatarsal of digit i. 

dig. ii., dig. iii., dig. iv proximal phalanges of 

digits i., ii., iii., iv. 

FIGURE 3. — " Catheturus lathami," front view of the 

add. dig. iv adductor digiti iv, 

ten its tendon 







Printed at "The Examiner" and "Weekly Courier" Offices, 
TVTo Patterson Street, Launces on, 



The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Society was held 
in the Society's Room, Museum, on Thursday, 3rd March, 1910. 

In the absence of the President (His Excellency Sir Harry 
Barron) Mr. Thomas Stephens, M.A., F.G.S., the senior Vice- 
President, occupied the chair, and the Annual Reports for 1909 
were submitted. 


There being no other nominations, the retiring meml^ers of 
the Council (Messrs. R. M. Johnston, Russell Young, Dr. 
Noetling, and Dr. Webster were re-elected. 


Messrs. Robert C. Kermode and H. Minchin Nicholls were 
elected Fellows of the Society. 


'Mr. Ff. W. W. Echlin was reappointed Auditor. 


The Medical Section reported, through their Secretary (Dr. 
E. W. J. Ireland) that the Section had a membership of twenty- 
one during the year, three of the members being resident in the 
country. Two had resigned at the end of the year on their de- 
parture from Hobart. Two new members were elected. The 
Annual Meeting and six Ordinary Meetings were held, and were 
well attended. Several meetings were devoted to the discussion 
of the Midwifery Act, and some suggested amendments were 
submitted to the Hon. the Chief Secretary for consideration. 
The Section thanks the Royal Society for the annual grant of 
£12, which has been devoted to the purchase of books. Their 
accounts of receipts and expenditure showed a credit balance of 
£14 17s. 


The Council of the Royal Society have the honour to present 
their Report for 1909 to the Annual General Meeting of the 

His Excellency Sir Harry Barron, K.C.M.G., shortly after 
his arrival to assume the office of Governor of the State, was 


pleased to intimate his acceptance of the position of President 
of the Society. 

Seven Monthly General Meetings and one Special General 
Meeting were held during the year. Eleven Ordinary Meetings 
and four Special Meetings of the Council were held during the 
same period. 

Twenty-nine Fellows were elected, one Associate became a 
Fellow, and thirteen Fellows and one Associate allowed their 
membersliip to lapse, and the deaths of three Fellows were re- 
corded. The total number of Members of the Society were one 
hundred and thirty-nine Fellows, including nnie Life Members 
and two Associates. Sir Ernest Shackleton was elected an 
Honorary Member. 

Two vacancies occurred in the Council through the resigna- 
tion of Sir Elliott Lewis and Dr. Elkington, and were respec- 
tively filled by the election of Dr. G. A. Webster and Dr. Arthur 

At a Special General Meeting on August 9, 1909, Rule 44 
was altered by striking out the last paragraph, which refei-recl 
to an Address by the President at the first ?\Ionthly General 
Meeting in each year. 

The Committee appointed to arrange the Library Fund 
found it necessary to sort out the Society's own publications 
before attempting the vv'ork in the Library Room, because it 
was discovered that the set of the Society's own publications in 
the Library was incomplete. 

This task proved to be more difficult than it was anticipated, 
because the back numbers had got mixed' up with all sorts of 
useless printed matter, and stock had apparently not been taken 
for years. 

After a considerable amount of work tlte Committee suc- 
ceeded in bringing together a complete sec of the Society's 
publications from 1845 up to date; the volumes were bound in 
their original co\crs, and the set now in the Library is prob- 
ably the only complete set of the Publications rif the Royal 
Society of Tasmania. Copies of the missing Annual Reports 
were als') found, and two complete sets from 1845 to 1892 were 

The aggregate number of the back volumes is 2,759 '" 'ih- 
which, valued at is. per volume, represent an asset of £137 iQs. 

The following Papers were read din-ing the Session of 1909: — 

Records of Tasmanian Botanists, by J. II. ^^aiden, F.L.S. 
(Corresponding Member). 

A Peculiar Group of Tronattas, In' Fritz Noetling, M.A.. 

Red Ochre and its Use bv the Aborigines of Tasmania, bv 
Fritz Noetling, M.A., Pli.D. ' 


■ The Minerals of Tasmania, by W. F. Petterd. C.M.Z.S. 

The Tasmanian Onagraceae. by L. Rodway. 

The Speech of the Tasmanian Aborigines, by Hermann B. 
Ritz, M.A. 

Notes on the Occurrence of a Fossil Tree embedded in 
Drift on the North-West Coast of Tasmania, by T, Stephens, 
M.A., F.G.S. 

Rocks Used in tlie Manufacture of Tronattas. by Fritz 
NoetHng, M.A., Ph.D. 

On the Applications of Multenions to ^letageometry. by 
Prof. Alex. M'Aulay. M.A. 

Notes on the Names given to Minerals and Rucks b}' the 
Aborigines of Tasmania, by Fritz Noetling, M.A.. Ph.D. 

A Contribution to the Geology of Tasmania, by L. Keith 
Ward, B.A.. B.E. 

Note on Brachycome melanocarpa. Sonder, by L. Rodway. 

Notes on ihe Glacial Beds at Freestone Bluff, Sandy Co\"e, 
near Wynyard, by Fritz Noetling, M.A,., Ph.D. 

Geological Notes on the Country traversed by the Derwent 
Valley Railway Extension, by T. Stephens, M.A., F.G.S. 

Points in the Anatomy of Certain Megapodfes, by T. Thom- 
son Flynn. B.Sc. 

A Balance-sheet, duly audited, shijwing the receipts and ex- 
penditure for 1909, is appended. 

The Report was adopted without amendment. 







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^Fellows who have contributed Papers read before the Societ}-. 

fLife Members. 

The Addresses of INIembers residiii" in Hobart are omitted. 


Agnew, L. E., Mrs. 

Allwork, F., L. S. A., Neiu Norfolk. 

Archer, Wm. Henry Davies, Longford. 

Anderson, G. M., M.B., CM., Franklin. 

Armstrong, Hugh, F.R.C.S. 

Ash, Percy. 

jBaker, Henry D. 

Barclay, Da\'id. 

I- Baring, Rev. F. H., M.A., F.R.G.S., Spring Bay. 
:=Beattie, J. W. 

Bennett, Wm. Henry, Ross. 

Bennison, Thomas. 

Bidencope, Joseph. 

Blackman, A. E. 

Brain, Rev. Alfred, M.A. 

Brownell, F. Leslie 

Burgess, Hon. Wm. Henry. 

Butler, Arthur, Lower Sandy Bay. 

Butler, Francis. 

Butler, Hon. Gamaliel Henry, M.R.C.S., M.L.C. 

Burbury, Fredk. E., Launceston 

Burn, WilHam. 

Butler, W .F. D., M.Sc. 

Campbell, R. D., M.B. 
:^Clarke, Arthur H., M.R.C.S. 
Clerk, Claud. 


Counsel, Edward Albert. 

Crosby, Hon. William, M.L.C. 

Cross, A. R. P., Captain R. A. 

Crouch, Ernest ]., M.R.C.S. 

Cruickshank, James H., Lt.-Col. R.E., Glenorchy. 

Davies, Hon. John George, M.H.A. 
Davies, Hon. Charles EUis, M.L.C. 
Dechaineaux, Lucien. 
Delany, His Grace Archbishop 
*Dobson, Hon. Henrv. 
Donovan, T. Matthew, L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S. 

-Elkington, John S. C, M.D. 
Ernst-Carroll, F. J., M.Sc, Ncuchatel, Sii>itzerland . 
Evans, L. A. 
Evans, Thomas May. 
Ewing, Hon. Norman K. 

Fereday, Mrs. R. W. 
fFoster, Henry, Major. 
fFoster, John D. 

Fin lay, VV. A. 
*Flynn, T. Thomson, B.Sc. 

j Grant, C. \\ . 

Giblin, Lyndhurst F.. 13. xA.. 

Giblin, Wilfred, M.B'. 

Giblin, Alan V. 

Gould, Robert, Lon^jord. 
"Green, A. O. 

Gould, H. T. 

Harrison, E. J., Bellerive. 

Harrison, Malcolm. 

Harvey, Walter A., INLR.C.S., M.B. 

Heyer, Rev. J., M.A. 

Hogg, G. H., M.D., Laiuicesion.. 

Horne, William. 

Hubbard, Leonard. 

Hutchison, Hermann. 

Ireland, E. W. J., M.B., CM. 

"Johnson, J. A., M.A. 

"Johnston, Robert M., F.L.S., I.S.O. 

Kerr, George. 
*Kingsmill, Henry C, M'.A, 
Knight, H. W. 

Lake, W, Spencer, M.Sc. 
Law, Ernest M., Lannceston. 
'■'Legge, Vincent W., Col., R.A., Cnllensuiood. 
Lewis, Major R. C. 

Lewis, Hon. Sir Neil Elliott. D.C.L., M.A., K.C.M.G. 
Lines, D. H. E., M.B. 

Lodder, Miss M., Lannceston. ^ 

Love, Joseph, M.B. ' 

Mason, M. 
i Mitchell, J. G.Jci'icho. 
*May, W. L., Sandford. 

Miller, Lindsay S., M.B., Ch.B. 

Millen, J. D. 
'■=Moore, George Brettingham, C.E. 
i-M'Clymont, J. R., M.A., Qneenhorough. 
'■'McAulay, Professor Alexander, M.A. 

McEIroy, J. A. 

Macfarlane, Hon. James. 
Macgowan, E. T., M.B., B.S. 
-Macleod, P. J., B.A. 
Mercer, E. ]., Dr. (Bishop of Tasmania). 

Nicholas, George C, Ousc. 
-Noetling, Fritz, M.A., Ph.D. 
Norman, Keith, LL.B. 
Nicholls, Mr. Justice. 

Oldham, N. 

Parker, Major A. C. 

Parsons, Miss S. R. 

Pearce, E. H., J. P. 

Redder, Alfred. 
*Piesse, E. L., B.Sc, LL.B. 

Pratt, A. W. Courtney. 

Propsting, Hon. Wm. Bispham. 
-Petterd, W. F., C.M.Z.S., Lannceston. 

Reid, A. R. 
-Ritz, H. B., M.A. 

Roberts, E. J., M.B. 

Roberts, Henry Llewellyn. 
'''Rodway, Leonard 

ISprott, Gregory, M.D. 
ISticht, Robert, Qncensto^vn. 

Scott, H. H., Lannceston. 

Scott, Robert G., M.B., CM. 

Shaw, Bernard, I.S.O. 


Shoobridge, Rev^ Canon George. 

Shoobridge, W. E, Glenova. 

Sich, Hugh H. 

Simmons, Matthew W. 
"Simson, Augustus, Lannceston. 
"Stephens, Thomas, M.A., F.G.S. 

Seal, Leonard P. 

Tarleton, John W. 
-Taylor, A. J. 

'■'Twelvetrees, W. H., F.G.S., Lannceston. 
-"■'Thompson, Rev. Edward H. 

Walch Charles. 
*Ward, L. Keith, B.A., B.E. 

Watson, Horace. 

Watchorn, Arthur Denison 

Watchorn, E. T., Lieut. -Col. 

Webster, Alexander George. 

Webster, C. Ernest. 

Webster, George A., M.B., M.R.C.S. 

Weindorfer, G. 

Wertheimer, Arnold 
* Weymouth, W. A. 

Winter, Alfred. 

Wise, H. T- 

Wolfhagen, J. Edgar, M.B., CM. 

Wolfhagen, Waldemar. 

Young, Russell. 
Young, Russell, Junior. 


Conlon, A. 

Osborne, John, Junior. 

Note. — Fellows arc requested to notify any errors in their 
names, titles, or addresses. 



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